There are times when a recipe just magically comes together. The universe aligns to guide you into putting everything in that is needed in just the right amounts to create a delicious something or other. Then there are times when you just haven’t got a clue where to start and have to resort to googling the answer. Often I find myself in this situation when it comes to the simplest things like toasting nuts, how to cut up a butternut squash or, like for this recipe, how sun dried tomatoes are actually made. I was working on a recipe which required them and I thought it would be a better idea if I learnt to make my own rather than go to the shops. Shop bought items tending to be filled with extra sugar, fake additives or what not. I thought to myself if I have to wave flies from my tomatoes for the next 3 days as they dehydrate in the sun it was way too much effort and it would have to be shop bought ones but I might as well see before I decide.
Googling resulted in a few different recipes. The most simple and straight forward recipe being the one I ultimately used which belongs to Gimme Some Oven (let me put the credit where it is due). This is the original recipe if you would like to follow it as it was written. The author even gives some extra herb options to add to the sun dried tomatoes if you wish but i just went with the plain salted ones.
How ever many tomatoes you start with after drying they will shrink it to about half the size. So if you need 200g (1 cup) of sun dried tomatoes start with 400g (2 cups). Make as many as you like in one go but make sure there is enough space around each tomato for the air to flow for the drying process.
Store them in the fridge in olive oil. In fact I heartily recommend a bit of an olive oil soaking even for use straight away as I think it adds to the flavour. Sun dried tomatoes always make me think of the Mediterranean. They are not a common addition to English cuisine so with the addition of olive oil, which also has highly Mediterranean connotations for me, the whole summery Mediterranean ideal is complete – or maybe that’s just me!
Sun dried tomatoes, baked in the oven
- 400 g cherry tomatoes (2 cups)
- pinch of salt
- Preheat a fan-assisted oven to 110deg C (230 deg F).
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the cherry tomatoes cut side upwards on the baking paper.
- Sprinkle the tomatoes with the salt.
- Place the tray in the center of the oven.
- Leave to cook for 3 hours. Check occasionally from about 2 hours onwards to ensure the tomatoes are not burning.