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DIY Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Patricia Reitz

DIY Sun-Dried Tomatoes - ButterYum

DIY Sun-Dried Tomatoes - ButterYum

Tomato season is winding down here in VA and I have a wonderful way to prolong the life of all those cherry tomatoes bursting out of your garden.  Everybody love sun-dried tomatoes, but do you know how they're made?  They're placed outside  and allowed to dry naturally, uncovered and exposed to all kinds of misc debris floating around in the air (dust, pollen, and yes, bugs).  I prefer a more controlled environment - a clean, dust-free, pollen-free, bug-free dehydrator.   

Wash and cut your little tomatoes in half length-wise.

Place them cut side up on dehydrator trays, allowing space between them so the air can flow freely around each tomato.  Give them a light sprinkling of Kosher salt.

Stack up as many trays as you need and turn on the dehydrator.  The total time will vary greatly depending on the size of your tomatoes, but mine took about 14 hours on a very low setting, rotating the racks every few hours.  Follow the guidelines give by your dehydrator or just check them periodically, removing individual tomatoes as they're done.  I like them to remain on the soft and chewy side - they'll feel flexible and leathery, but they won't exude any moisture when pressed between your thumb and forefinger.  If you let them dehydrate longer, they'll turn crispy - great for snacking, but if you want to cook with them, reconstitute them in warm water until pliable before using.  

DIY Sun-Dried Tutorial, how to make sun-dried tomatoes with step by step photos, dehydrated tomatoes with how-to photos

I like to store my dried tomatoes in the fridge, in a pretty, repurposed jam jar filled with really good olive oil.  Use in recipes, on salads, or just snack on them.  They'll last for many months in the fridge.  Enjoy! 

how to make your own sun-dried tomatoes, technique and step-by-step photos