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Oven Dried Tomatoes

a bowl filled with oven dried tomatoes on a wooden table with a fresh tomato at the side

I have a veggie patch, and at the moment, I have an abundance of zucchini and tomatoes.  If you are bored eating them raw, why not change things up a bit, and dry some in order concentrate their flavour and extend their shelf (or bench) life. 

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I eat tomatoes pretty much every day, and even though I grow them, I still have to purchase them.  You could say I love them.

My favourite is the small Solanato from Woolworths.  They’re packed with flavour, crunch when you bite into the outer skin and are juicy.  Their flesh is so flavourful I have them almost every day with a salad for lunch.  I must try to grow some from seed this season…

Which tomatoes are best for drying?

Roma is the best variety for this job.  Its flesh is dense, has a good flavour, and will dry beautifully. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthways and place cut –side up on a cooling rack over an oven tray.  Sprinkle the tomatoes lightly with salt and any herbs you would like to use.  Dry in the oven on the lowest possible setting for 3 – 6 hours for semi dried and 6 – 8 hours for dried or until the tomatoes feel dry when you touch them.  Or if you have a purpose made dehydrator, you could use that.

Several varieties of partially dried  tomatoes in a white bowl.
Such variety available in tomatoes!

Once cool pack them into hot sterilised jars and pour enough good quality olive oil over the tomatoes to completely cover them.  Semi-dried will last in your fridge for a week to 10 days although if you choose to dry them a little further, they will keep for about a month.

Of course, you could also make some of my BBQ tomato sauce if you have an abundance.  This sauce is pretty popular at the cooking school.

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