Who doesn’t love using sun dried tomatoes in their cooking. They are packed with amazing flavour and ramp up the tomatoness of any dish from spaghetti sauce to soups and dips. My homemade oven dried tomatoes in oil are the nearest we in the UK can get to the sun dried type.
Blame the weather
The weather in the UK really isn’t conducive to producing sun dried tomatoes, well at least not up here in Ayrshire where summer can be catagorised as one day out of 365 some years!
Anyway that said you can make your own version of sun dried by using your oven and making oven dried tomatoes in oil. Perfect solution.
Why buy these things in a jar when you can make your own. This is especially good when you have a glut of your own home grown tomatoes or when they are selling them off really cheap in the shops.
Keep it simple with just a few ingredients
There is very little to this recipe, just the tomatoes themselves, salt, a little sugar to sweeten them up as when preserved they can get a tad bitter, thyme leaves, bay leaves and of course good olive oil to store them in.
Give it time
This is a recipe that takes time, you want the tomatoes to dry out slowly in the oven so put it to it’s lowest setting and prop open the door with a wooden spoon or something to let the moisture escape and leave them to do their thing over night.
Once dried pack them into sterilised jars and pop in a bay leaf and a sprig of thyme before pouring in the olive oil to cover. Pop on a lid and that’s it, your own oven dried tomatoes in oil, just as good as sun dried tomatoes and a fraction of the price.
Your oven dried tomatoes in oil will keep well and once opened store in the fridge and use within a month. All you need to do is add a little more oil to cover the tomatoes each time you use them.
Use the oil too
Remember the oil itself is fabulous for salads and for cooking too. Don’t miss out on any of that fabulous summer time flavour!
OVEN DRIED TOMATOES IN OIL
- 2 kilos ripe tomatoes
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp thyme leaves plus extra sprigs
- 1 tsp salt
- Olive oil
- Bay leaves
- Set wire racks over baking trays
- Cut tomatoes in half and place on racks cut side down and leave to drain for 30 mins
- Heat oven to lowest temperature (80C)
- Turn tomatoes over and sprinkle with salt, sugar and thyme
- Cook in oven with door held open with wooden spoon for 8-10 hours until dried out
- Pack into sterilised jars and pour over olive oil and add a sprig of thyme and a bay leaf