Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Dried Tomatoes

What to do with the endless supply of small tomatoes I have?!?

Normally, if I have a bucket full of small tomatoes,  I would just toss them in the food processor and make salsa out of them.

I used almost the entire colander for 4 trays.
This year, I wanted to do "sun-dried" tomatoes, but that seems like a lot of work and I'm not sure I have the correct apparatus for such a project. I was imagining my beige lawn covered in wire benches with zillions of tomatoes laid out in the sunshine and me with a fly swatter swinging madly.

Several friends have dehydrators, so I'm going to give that a try and see if I can approximate the "sun-dried" part. And since I get to borrow the machine and try it out first, I can decide if a machine is worth purchasing for the future.

Nesco Dehydrator with 5-trays

I started the process at 3pm yesterday. I picked everything fresh. The tomatoes got a bath, were towel dried, had the stems removed and were cut in half or in quarters. Some of the 'Jaune Flame' were a little bigger than the 'Yellow Perfection' and the 'Stupice' so I quartered them.  It took about 45 minutes to get the trays ready to go in the dehydrator.

Halves of fresh tomatoes ready to go!
The next morning - they sure shrivel up!
Some of the bigger pieces still need more time.
I ran the machine overnight (about 15 hours total, so far). I think they still need a little more time, but I didn't want to leave it running all day while I was at work. The next time I will start it at a higher temperature for the first 24 hours.

The goal when finished is to be able to freeze some and the rest to pack in jars with olive oil with sea salt, oregano, basil and garlic.

Hopefully they will be delicious and great for pasta, pizza and anti-pasta platters.  They will make nice gifts too.


  1. What you just did will probably make even the grayest, dreariest day in early February feel like high summer. Good plan...

    1. I'm on my second batch and so far they have turned out great! I'm pretty happy with the end product - just need to get some of them in the olive oil. I've been eating them like candy.