Oven-Dried Tomatoes

December 17, 2009

Until now I’ve had sun dried tomatoes from a jar and only after making these cute little babies did I realize what I’d been missing out on – über concentration of flavour. They are the same as sun-dried tomatoes, except that it doesn’t sound as fancy and the job gets done a lot quicker!

While I was at the market last week, I was introduced to these seasonal tomatoes that appear for just two months in a year, so I bought myself a kilo of them. The seller extolled their flavour and when I sat to think of how to use these best, I was sure I didn’t want these tomatoes to get lost as a part of a greater dish, but be the main focus. That’s when I thought of drying them up in the oven to concentrate their flavour.

I can say for certain that this has got to be the best thing best savory thing I’ve put in my mouth in a while (the fig tart and honey roasted almonds are so good, people!). The flavour of the tomatoes is heightened by chopped garlic and oregano – something you will never find in the regular bottled sundried tomatoes. I thought I’d use them to top a pizza or something, but man these were just brilliant on their own. I snacked on so many last night that these were all that were left to take photos this morning (and you thought I was trying to be aesthetic!) Next time, I’m surely going to double the quantity I make because they shrink so much (not that I didn’t know, but so much?) I think this would make an excellent appetizer tossed with crumbled feta or fresh mozzarella.

Oven dried tomatoes

2.2 lb/ 1 kilo ripe tomatoes
coarse sea salt
6 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 tbsp dried oregano
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil

  1. Preheat the oven to the lowest heat setting.
  2. Depending on how big you’d like them, either slice the tomatoes, or halve them (the bigger they are, the longer they will take to dry up). Scoop out most of the seeds and sprinkle with salt and leave them skin side up so that the excess liquid from the tomatoes can drain out. Let this sit for about 15-20 minutes. Excellent thing to do because, this gets rid of the moisture and reduces the time in the oven.
  3. In a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes with the garlic, oregano, black pepper and olive oil. Place the tomatoes on a cookie sheet lines with parchment and place sprinkle the garlic from the bowl on the tomatoes. Cook in a low oven at 100C/200F/Gas 1 for three hours.
  4. If you’d really like to do it the sun-dried way then you can leave it in the sun for up to two days, taking them in at night.
  5. Place the tomatoes in a sterilized glass jar and use within a week. If you’re going to use this over a longer period of time, then cover it with some olive oil.

{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Chaitali December 17, 2009 at 3:29 PM

Mmm…I love sundried tomatoes!
No wonder yours disappeared so quickly…who could've resisted those little beauties! :)

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2 Tina December 17, 2009 at 11:41 AM

Great idea dear..Sounds easy and useful….Superb clicks as always…

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3 Helene December 17, 2009 at 12:38 PM

They look easy to make and super delicious.

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4 arjwiz December 17, 2009 at 2:05 PM

lovely pics, there. can't believe those tomatoes are real!

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5 Name December 17, 2009 at 4:08 PM

That looks awesome. I must try that. Thanks for sharing.

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6 Nachiketa December 18, 2009 at 1:18 AM

pl become my neighbour……. Would love to eat the awesome stuff you churn out and….. manage to post aswell…. :-)

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7 Kitchen Butterfly December 18, 2009 at 2:13 AM

One of my favourite things to make…the first time I made them, my husband had them with cheese on a sarnie and I made a chicken millifeuille caprese with the rest. They are so versatile!

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8 Nags December 18, 2009 at 9:22 AM

Nice idea! Will using normal table salt make a whole lot of difference? I don't have sea salt, unfortunately..

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9 Divya Vikram December 18, 2009 at 9:32 AM

Lovely pictures and great way to make these at home!

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10 Barbara December 18, 2009 at 10:07 PM

Ina does something similar and I tried it…the flavor of the tomatoes is so intense! I loved them with mozzarella. Hers were more roasted than dried. Can't wait to try yours!

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11 nithya at hungrydesi December 19, 2009 at 3:25 AM

Looks great and I love the nuggets of garlic. Great idea to top off with feta…they do something similar in our cafeteria.

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12 Parita December 19, 2009 at 3:18 PM

I have done the same in the past and used these tomatoes for my pesto :-)

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13 pigpigscorner December 19, 2009 at 5:17 PM

The smell must be amazing while drying them…love sundried tomatoes!

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14 Anushruti December 21, 2009 at 10:17 PM

These look so wonderful. You make me want to try these right away. Can't wait to set up my new kitchen!

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15 tulipedison December 30, 2009 at 1:56 AM

Great idea..loved it… I will make it every weekend… But olive oil ruins the taste..We can use Patan ghee to improve the taste and the fragrance…

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16 The Purple Foodie December 30, 2009 at 9:58 AM

Tuliped son: Guess it's just a difference of palates, I absolutely love the smell of olive oil and garlic together. With these oven dried tomatoes, it just reaches another level.

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17 Heather T - sloCooking January 20, 2010 at 10:45 PM

Delightful read as usual… keep making me hungry! I do so enjoy reading your blog. http://slocooking.blogspot.com/2010/01/make-me-hungry-awards-january-2010.html

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18 Anonymous January 29, 2010 at 10:25 PM

tired of comments like "So-so. " or buy antibiotics online. Then write to me at icq 75949683256…

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19 The Purple Foodie March 1, 2010 at 12:42 AM

:) hope to see you around more often!

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20 Shireen September 7, 2010 at 11:28 PM

Which were the special tomatoes you used and where in Bombay are they available ?

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21 The Purple Foodie September 7, 2010 at 11:37 PM

Hey, these usually show up during Dec-Jan. I bought them from the vegetable market near Parle East Station.

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22 Tia September 21, 2010 at 4:15 AM

I’ve never thought to do dried tomatoes at home- duh! I’m inspired by your post now :)

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23 old hag cooking October 16, 2010 at 4:48 PM

purple foodie you’re an absolute delight to read and your approach to food is sooo refreshing and soooooo right on. keep it up girl.

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24 zenobia December 18, 2010 at 9:14 AM

Hey this looks so gorgeous! How long does it take to Sun-dry them?

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25 The Purple Foodie December 20, 2010 at 9:47 PM

Haven’t tried sun drying them, so I can’t be sure.

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26 Alex January 31, 2011 at 3:05 AM

I just made these tonight and they are incredible! My boyfriend and I can’t get enough- Thanks so much for the amazing recipe. I will definitely be making these time and time again!

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27 Andrew February 8, 2011 at 4:01 PM

I live in Australia ,and matter of fact I made sun dried tomatoes three times this year, the last one on Sunday 6 February,they are ready to eat.I have been making for years. This Year I use what I made two Years go. And believe me the older they are the better they are. Good luck to You to

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28 Valerie September 11, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Andrew, You say this year using what you made two years ago, how are you preserving for so long? Freezing them or putting in jars packed with olive oil?
Or perhaps you are hot sealing them? Would love to know. Look forward to your reply.

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29 Pooja February 25, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Hey! I’m a huge fan of sundried tomatoes. I recently got a pack of these absolutely dry tomatoes from a shop (not the bottled ones)… but they taste awefull!! Am i supposed to cook/marinate them before using them??

P.S. I tried these oven dried ones and theyre heavenly!
yummmmmm….

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30 The Purple Foodie February 26, 2011 at 10:38 AM

That’s a little odd. But marinating them can only make them better. A little warm olive oil, minced garlic and seasoning.

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31 Gauri April 10, 2011 at 4:05 PM

Hey….howdy ??
I visit your blog often and simply love it !!
I really want ot make your recipe of sun dried tomatoes but I stay in Delhi and i’m not able to find coarse sea salt.
Is sea salt same as Sendha Namak?
If i dont find coarse sea salt what can i substitute it with?

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32 The Purple Foodie April 11, 2011 at 4:49 PM

Hey, you can use regular salt if you don’t find coarse sea salt.

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33 swapna bellare May 27, 2011 at 10:25 AM

there are called tomatoes on vine here in USA. if you want to grown them in bombay, (if climate etc permits) I can send you some seeds to try out.!
I love reading your blog (though I am not into cooking/baking) and would like to give you something as an appreciation!

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34 swapna d bellare June 3, 2011 at 4:18 AM

oo.. I am bad bad bad in growing veggies or even flowering plants..
growing tomatoes can be challenging but not difficult. I am sure you will get some help.

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35 Dawn August 18, 2011 at 6:19 AM

Can’t wait to try these! How is the best way to store for long term use? Can they be frozen? Can they be canned with olive oil? If so, do we need to add lemon before canning them? Thanks in advance!
Dawn

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36 The Purple Foodie September 5, 2011 at 2:34 AM

I’ve canned them under a layer of olive oil.

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37 Karen@Lavender and Lovage August 30, 2011 at 3:36 PM

FABULOUS ~ I have a glut of tomatoes and this is a perfect recipe for me!
Karen

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38 Meagan August 31, 2011 at 1:13 AM

I have these in my oven now; did you place them skin side up or down to dry? I find that the liquid is pooling as I have them skin side down; I also anticipate much longer than 3 hours; it’s been 2 already and they are still quite moist. Excite to taste them though! Have a huge Roma tomato bush I want to save.

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39 Janis September 21, 2011 at 11:12 PM

Hello! This recipe looks delicious! Can I layer them with olive oil and lemon juice, and then freeze them in a ziplock?

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40 The Purple Foodie September 28, 2011 at 1:51 AM

You don’t need to bother layering them, just place them in a jar or a bag and top with olive oil. I find the natural tartness of the the tomatoes sufficient to want to use lemon juice.

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41 Lumin and Chris November 27, 2011 at 4:19 AM

Truly, truly yummy while eating ours on toast with a yummy cheddar cheese we were fantasizing what to use it with, needless to say nothing left to try, so off to the shops to get more tomatoes……………………………..

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42 jodye December 20, 2011 at 10:32 AM

I have read EVERY website on “Sun Dried Tomatoes”…..this one is by far the best,turn the cut tom upside down to drain….off coarse!!!! Well Done,thanks for the bits and tips,I`m off to the kitchen……

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43 Kristin February 9, 2012 at 2:26 AM

When storing do you put them in the fridge or just in cabinet?

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44 The Purple Foodie February 15, 2012 at 1:02 AM

In the fridge! Unless you submerge them in olive oil completely. But I say fridge is a safer option.

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45 Debbie April 1, 2012 at 1:46 AM

I would like to meet you

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46 The Purple Foodie June 10, 2012 at 5:10 PM

=)

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47 Reggie April 12, 2012 at 5:45 PM

This not bad but three hours is enough with the oven I got, also and some Parmesan cheese when you store it, so good !!!

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48 Dane July 15, 2012 at 4:12 PM

Recommended olive oil??? I dehydrated Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes. Good taste. THEN I tried the olive oil, garlic, oregano, pepper and salt. They were superb!!!
Then, to be sure they would not go bad, I put jars in the refrigerator — not best idea for me, as the Bertolli Clasico Olive Oil turned cloudy and ruined the beautiful color. I then read the back of the olive oil jar: “This product may become cloudy at around 45-degrees F… .” Does anybody have a recommendation for the type of olive oil to use? And do the dried tomato-oil-herb finished product need refrigeration.?

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49 nick August 22, 2012 at 2:43 PM

I refridgerate to be safe and to keep them around as long as possible. Take then out for an hour or so before eating and the will look perfect, as the oil will quickly melt again at room temp.

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50 jeepguy August 5, 2012 at 7:12 PM

I prefer to smoke my juliet and roma tomatoes before drying them. Imparting a hickory flavor and seasoning with some basil and oregano works great in italian dishes. Mesquite smoke along with some chipotle and garlic adds a kick to chili and fajitas and such.

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51 Karishma kalro March 14, 2013 at 5:49 AM

I’ve been waiting to make sun dried tomatoes and now since summer is here I m def gonna try this. Just need to know if I can use regular tomatoes or only cherry tomatoes ? Also if I store them in a glass jar with olive oil do I have to refrigerate them Or just keep in cool place in my kitchen , what is the storage life ?

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52 Shaheen March 14, 2013 at 12:40 PM

I’ve used regular tomatoes! When you store them in oil, make sure they are perfectly submerged.

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53 Karishma kalro March 15, 2013 at 6:13 AM

Sure but after submerging them in oil in a bottle do I store the bottle outside or in the refrigerator ?

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54 Shaheen March 15, 2013 at 1:12 PM

If perfectly submerged, it should be OK outside, but if you plan to keep it for more than just a few days, refrigerate.

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55 Sweet Mother of Blog April 18, 2013 at 6:07 AM

Hiya, I used this recipe and it came up trumps. I’ve included your link and recipe in my blog post at http://sweetmotherofblog.com/oven-dried-tomatoes/
Sensational. Num num. M

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56 Jenny July 25, 2013 at 11:10 PM

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understand media is a great source of information.

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57 Laila/SowandSo September 9, 2013 at 4:04 PM

I had such a large cherry tomato harvest this year that I was looking for new things to try. This recipe looked so good that I gave it a try and it is wonderful! It took only two hours for the little tomatoes to dry in the oven and the taste is heavenly!

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58 Julie December 26, 2013 at 11:53 AM

Great DIY and full of tomato flavour, I often find commercial ones bland. I scooped the seeds into a bowl and the moisture from salting into the same bowl, strained it and made a fresh Bloody Mary to enjoy while the tomatoes dried.

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59 Lindsey February 25, 2014 at 12:08 AM

I made these recently planning to put them onto a flatbread pizza, but ate most of them before I could finish the crust! They are delicious, and so versatile. Would be great ground with spices into a sauce, in a salad, on skewers with mozzarella and basil. They do take about 6 hours to reach perfection, but you can make a large batch and pack leftovers in olive oil.

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