This simple oven dried ‘sun-dried’ tomatoes in olive oil recipe is a brilliant way to preserve tomatoes whenever you have any to spare and save that summer sunshine in a jar for later in the year.
Who doesn’t love using sun-dried tomatoes in their cooking. They are packed with amazing flavour and ramp up the tomato flavour of any dish from spaghetti sauce to soups and dips. My homemade oven dried tomatoes in oil are the nearest we in sunny Scotland can get to the sun dried type.
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.
Ingredients for oven dried tomatoes
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 and bay leaves.
And of course good olive oil to store them in.
How to make oven ‘sun-dried’ tomatoes
There is very little in the way of hands-on work for this simple sun-dried tomatoes recipe.
First prepare the tomatoes; Cut them in half and using a small sharp knife cut out the core and seeds. This leaves you with the fleshy tomato shell.
Place these tomato shells cut side down on a wire rack to drain. Then turn them over so the tomatoes are cut side up and sprinkle with salt, sugar and thyme.
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.
How do you know when your tomatoes are properly dried?
The oven dried ‘sun-dried’ tomatoes won’t be crisp and totally dried out like the ones you buy in bags in the shops. They will still have a little moisture inside them and have a little give to them.
Oven dried ‘sun-dried’ tomatoes
These delicious dried tomatoes can also be used as they are before putting them in oil. If you want to use them like this just snip them up and use in pasta sauces etc as they are. They will keep in the fridge in a jar or bag for a week or so.
How long will these keep?
Your oven dried tomatoes in oil will keep well in the fridge for up to 6 months. The oil will solidify in the fridge and look cloudy. Do not panic!
Just spoon out however much of the sun-dried tomatoes you want to use and pop the jar back in the fridge. Always make sure to top up with oil so that the actual tomatoes are covered at all times.
How to use oven dried tomatoes
Use these flavour packed tomatoes to enrich sauces and stews as well as soups. Just snip them up with scissors and add to your cooking.
Sun-dried tomatoes in oil are also great just stirred into pasta as an almost instant sauce (Italian fast food!).
Cut them up and add to risotto and use the oil too.
Add these oven dried tomatoes to bruschetta with creamy goat’s cheese.
They are perfect for adding to sandwiches and wraps and to salads too.
Pile them on to your antipasti platter or cheeseboard.
Can you use the tomato oil?
Oh yes, yes, yes! This rich and fruity tomato oil is delicious used as a dipping sauce with a dash of Balsamic vinegar. Just dip in your best crusty bread for a terrific little appetiser.
Also use this oil for cooking and for salad dressings too.
Looking for more things to save in oil? Then check out these super simple tasty recipes before you go;
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Oven dried ‘sun-dried’ tomatoes in olive oil
- 2 kg tomatoes ripe
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp thyme plus extra sprigs to garnish
- 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 6 hours until dried
- Pack into sterilised jars and pour over olive oil and add a sprig of thyme and a bay leaf