As, I always say-
Homemade is always better than store-bought because when it's homemade, we can know and control the ingredients that go into our food.
I'm not saying that I always make everything homemade, but I try, as much as possible, to do it that way. But, I do have lazy days when I just don't want to enter my kitchen and anything from outside my kitchen sounds great :)
But, I'm not fond of buying sun-dried tomatoes from stores, because I've read that many use sulphur dioxide when drying tomatoes to retain their color. It's not only in dried tomatoes that this chemical is used. It's used even in dried fruits.
Hmmm! We don't want sulphur dioxide in our food right???
So, go homemade on this one. I use my dearest oven to dry my tomatoes.They taste equally good.
In spring and summer, when we get very good tomatoes, I always dry them and store them. To preserve them, you need to add a lot of Olive oil to jar. This is not a waste of olive oil. You can use this olive oil for making pizza's pastas or anything else you wish. The olive oil get's infused with tomato, garlic, oregano and Italian herbs and tastes all the more flavorful.
The flavors in these dry tomatoes are very intense. Great for topping pizzas and crostinis. Great to toss in with some pasta and great in some sandwiches. Go well with some salads too. With 10 tomatoes, I got just half this jar of dried tomato. So, if you want more, use more tomatoes.
- Tomatoes- atleast 10
- Garlic cloves (chopped finely) - 2
- Oregano - 1 tspn
- Sugar - 1 tspn
- Salt - 1/2 tspn
- Olive oil - 1 tbspn.( plus more for storing the tomatoes)
- Italian grill seasoning- 1/2 tspn( optional)
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 C)
- Cut tomatoes into halves vertically and scoop out all the seeds and the mushy centre.( I don't discard this tomato liquid. I keep it and use it in some curry or soup)
- Dry the inside of the tomatoes with paper towels and brush some olive oil on the interior.
- Line a baking tray with some parchment paper and lay the tomatoes skin-side down on it.
- Now sprinkle a pinch of salt and sugar on each.
- Put a little garlic on each tomato( as seen in the pic)
- Sprinkle oregano and Italian grill seasoning on the tomatoes and put the tray into the oven for 15 mins.
- Then reduce the oven temperature to 220 degrees F (105 C) and let the tomatoes dry in it for 1-1/2 hours.
- When the tomatoes are dry, let them cool.
- To store dried tomatoes, put them in a clean, dry glass jar and fill it to the brim with olive oil. This helps preserve them.
- This is not a waste of olive oil. You can use this olive oil for making pizza's pastas or anything else you wish. The olive oil get's infused with tomato, garlic, oregano and Italian herbs and tastes wonderful.
- When using the dried tomatoes out of the jar, use a fork to remove the desired amount of tomatoes from the oil and close the lid of the jar immediately. Chop and serve the tomatoes as you please.
Luv 'n' luc'