Oven-Dried Cherry Tomatoes

Oven-dried cherry tomatoes

Boca Dorada / Flickr / CC By 2.0

  • Total: 2 hrs 45 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Servings: 6 servings
  • Yield: 1 cups
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
30 Calories
0g Fat
6g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 30
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2123mg 92%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 23mg 113%
Calcium 18mg 1%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 390mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Traditional sun-dried tomatoes are a wonderful ingredient to have at hand as they can enhance the flavor or sauces, stews, dips, and soups, or serve as the base for small hors d'oeuvre when paired with Manchego cheese or small mozzarella balls.

Now you can enjoy the tangy flavor and chewy saltiness of sun-dried tomatoes without having to pay extra or eat unnecessary ingredients: most commercially available dried tomatoes have sulfur dioxide, a food preservative that helps with the shelf life and color of dried fruits, pickled vegetables, and processed meats. Although safe for human consumption, it's an unnatural ingredient that you can skip when easily making your own dried tomatoes.

Our easy recipe will yield flavorful tomatoes that you can use in your pizzas, pastas, sauces, salads, or anywhere else you'd use sun-dried tomatoes. These cherry tomato halves shrink to about three-fourths their original size, become a deep red in color, and have an intense real-tomato taste. They are a much brighter red than commercial sun-dried tomatoes and are an excellent accompaniment to all sorts of savory meals, from meat to eggs, plus keep well in an airtight container for one month in the fridge or three months in the freezer.

While it takes a few hours for the tomatoes to dry, there is very little prep time involved. This recipe by Shirley O. Corriher is used with her permission.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 pints cherry tomatoes

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 200 F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.

  3. Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally and arrange them cut-side up on the baking sheet, touching each other. 

  4. Sprinkle well with salt.

  5. Bake for 2 to 3 hours. The ideal texture of a well-done, oven-dried tomato is one that has no juice inside and a soft leathery texture outside.

How Do You Reconstitute Oven-Dried Tomatoes?

Because of their pungent, strong tomato flavor, these tomatoes are a great addition to many dishes but could be too strong-flavored if they aren't rehydrated. Reconstitute the tomatoes in water or oil, but in either case, don't throw the water or oil away after steeping the tomatoes in it; the flavored liquid is an exquisite base for sauces or soups:

  • To reconstitute in water: place the number of sun-dried tomatoes you require in a heatproof bowl. Cover them with boiling water and let steep for at least 30 minutes or until the tomatoes are pliable. Drain—reserving the water for other recipes—pat dry, and slice or use in whatever manner your recipe directs.
  • To reconstitute in oil: place the sun-dried tomatoes you require in good-quality olive oil and let steep at room temperature, covered, for 24 hours. Drain, pat dry, and use the tomatoes as your recipe instructs. Keep the flavored olive oil for cooking or dressing salads.

How to Use Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Oven-dried tomatoes are an excellent addition to a variety of dishes. Here are a few easy ideas:

  • Make a beautiful pizza by adding oven-dried tomatoes, mozzarella balls, fresh basil, and a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Use chopped oven-dried tomatoes as your star ingredient in a pasta salad. Add fresh arugula, cubes of Asiago cheese, and drizzles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • Use a handful of sun-dried tomatoes in your favorite stew or goulash recipe on top of the fresh or canned tomatoes the recipe calls for. You don't need to rehydrate them for this purpose as the cooking liquid will do the job.
  • Rehydrate in oil a handful of tomatoes and process in a food processor with 8 ounces of full-fat cream cheese. Add pepper and chili flakes to taste. Use the mixture as a spread for wraps or sandwiches or as a dip for chips or crudités.
  • Make a version of the tortilla soup with a tomato base. Add a handful of chopped and rehydrated oven-dried tomatoes to your favorite homemade or store-bought tomato soup. Heat the soup, then top with crushed tortilla chips, slices of avocado, and crumbled queso fresco.

Additions and Substitutions

For a different flavor, try one of the following suggestions:

  • Use garlic salt instead of plain salt.
  • In addition to salt, add either black pepper, cayenne pepper, or chili flakes for spicy tomatoes.
  • Use Italian seasonings, or dried oregano, basil, thyme, sage, or a combination of two or more for aromatic tomatoes.
  • Sprinkle fresh chopped parsley, basil, and oregano along with salt and pepper for a herby variation.

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