As summer winds down, many people with gardens will get one last bumper crop of tomatoes. An easy way to use up a large amount of tomatoes at once is to oven-dry them. This achieves the same effect as sun-drying them, but it takes a lot less time, and you don’t have to worry about critters getting into them as they dry in the sun for several days.
I had a bunch of grape tomatoes that I had no plans for, so I oven-dried them yesterday. They turned into the lovely, shriveled up, incredibly sweet beauties you see above.
How to oven-dry grape tomatoes
- Remove all stems from grape tomatoes and cut them in half length-wise.
- Place the cut tomatoes on some sort of cake or cookie rack that can be placed on top of another flat pan in the oven. (See photo below.) This will allow the hot air to circulate all around the tomatoes and help them to dry out evenly.
- Sprinkle the tomatoes with Kosher salt.
- Place in the oven at 200 degrees F for about four hours, checking to see if the tomatoes have dried out. It may take more time. It may take less time. It will depend on the size of the tomatoes.
How to store oven-dried tomatoes
- Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Place in a clean, sterilized jar, and fill the jar with olive oil to completely cover every tomato. Seal and place in the refrigerator for one month, taking out what you need when you need it. The tomato-flavored oil can be used for cooking as you use up the tomatoes – just make sure to leave enough oil in the jar to cover the remaining tomatoes.
- Freeze them on cookie trays, then transfer to a freezer proof container once they’re individually frozen. They won’t all stick together and you’ll be able to make just a few at a time.
How to use your oven-dried tomatoes
Oven-dried tomatoes are great on salads and pizzas, or you can use them in one of these recipes.