Oven Dried Tomatoes!

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Here is another way to preserve summer to enjoy on the dreariest of winter days!  I happened to purchase a huge share of tomatoes from a local farm, The Fischer Merritt Food Farm.  I was running out of time to do canning so I quickly threw most of them into freezer bags.  I was a little sad because I love canning but we were heading out of town and the tomatoes were not going to last till we got back.  So into the freezer and then a few dozen lucky tomatoes turned into delicious Oven Dried Tomatoes!!

I read about a dozen different websites explaining what to do and here is what I came up with!

Oven Dried Tomatoes

The few lucky tomatoes to become oven dried!

all you need is a cutting board, tomatoes, knife and parchment lined  sheet!

try very hard to get them the same thickness then you don’t have to pay as much attention later on

Take your lovely tomatoes and if they are small enough cut in 1/2 or if they are too big then slice a bit.  If you tomatoes are super super juicy you may need to squeeze off some juice into a bowl.  Lay the slices on a parchment lined baking sheet (with edges so you don’t spill tomato juice all over the bottom of your pan.).

Then stick them in the oven at 250 degrees for about 5-7 hours – yup you heard me!

This process takes a long time to bak but minimal prep.  I suppose if you live in a lovely dry hot place you could just do this in the sun.  Alas I do not live in such a place so the oven does it!

here we go!

after about 2 hours (not much change)

Oh Oh!  I had to keep checking because the thinner ones were burning!

Alrighty so when the tomatoes are rubbery but not crisp I did two different things.  I packed some with herbs and oil into the fridge and I froze the rest.

For the oil packed – first dip your tomatoes into red wine vinegar then drop into a canning jar with some basil and fill it up with olive oil.  Keep this in the fridge unless you have a pressure canner or decide to do a water bath canning to keep it shelf stable.  I was too lazy so mine just went in the fridge.

ingredients for oil packed tomatoes!

dip them in vinegar (all the things I read said to do this, so I did)

ooooooo la la!  Beautiful!

I will use my tomatoes to sweeten up sauces and dips this winter.  What do you use sun-dried tomatoes for?

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