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Turn cherry tomatoes into sun dried tomatoes

Updated on October 4, 2015
Patsybell profile image

I inherited my love of gardening from mother and grandmother. I am a garden blogger, freelance writer, and Master Gardener emeritus.

Olive oil with sun dried tomatoes

The olive oil absorbs the intense flavor of the dried tomatoes. Drizzle the flavored olive oil over pasta, sprinkle with Parmesan. Voila! A quick and simple pasta dish that may become a favorite dish.
The olive oil absorbs the intense flavor of the dried tomatoes. Drizzle the flavored olive oil over pasta, sprinkle with Parmesan. Voila! A quick and simple pasta dish that may become a favorite dish. | Source

Sun dried tomatoes

Is the easiest way to handle loads of tomatoes. During the hottest summer months, the dehydrator is at work, almost nonstop. Drying tomatoes may be one of the most energy efficient ways to preserve any vegetable or fruit.

I'd never pay the outrageous price for them, but I love making and using sun-dried tomatoes. The intense, sweet tomato bits enrich any soup or stew.

You get all the benefits of tomatoes without the weight of the water. Tomatoes are 95% water. Remove the water to remove most of the space and weight of a tomato.

Concentrated nutrition and the natural sweetness make these light weight space savers ideal for snackers, hikers, and emergency food supplies.

To reconstitute dried tomatoes, pour boiling water over a shallow bowl of dried tomatoes. Allow them to absorb water or salted water for 30 to 45 minutes. Use any remaining liquid in recipes, it's loaded with vitamins.

Little cherry tomato with intense taste

Tomatoes minus the water are a consentrated, intense rich tomato flavor.
Tomatoes minus the water are a consentrated, intense rich tomato flavor. | Source

Dried tomatoes fast and easy

Cherry tomatoes are the first to ripen in the garden, well before the big tomatoes turn red. They are prolific indeterminate plants and continue producing fruit til frost. Once the full size tomatoes start ripening, what to do with those plump little cherry and pear tomatoes?

Dry them. These days, sun dried tomatoes aren't actually dried by the sun. Commercially produced "sun dried" tomatoes are made using a food dehydrator or oven. This method is cleaner and faster than the solar option. Drying concentrates flavor and nutrition while preserving your bountiful harvest.

Dry tomatoes unseasoned to give more flexibility in future recipes. Or, some dried tomato recipes suggest salting or sprinkling cut tomatoes with finely chopped herbs before drying.

When dried, tomatoes will be flexible but not crisp. They will be a deep red and the flavor concentrated. Store in a zip lock freezer bags.

I dry cherry tomatoes because I love the intense tomato flavor in winter soups, on pizza, and in spaghetti sauce. Drying a tomato simply intensifies their flavor. Try these dried cherry tomatoes in your favorite beef stew or vegetable soup. Email me and tell how good your dried tomatoes are and how you use them.

Living next the Mississippi River, the air is usually too humid for fruits to dry naturally, but a 5-tray food dehydrator makes fast work of drying cherry tomatoes. I cut each tomato in half and fill the trays in a single layer.

Oven dry tomatoes

You can also dry tomatoes in an oven on 100-degree F for about 3 hours. Tomatoes will be leathery when dry. Snack on the dried tomatoes, or store in a plastic zipper bag in the freezer.

I keep a small jar of dried cherry tomatoes in the fridge, covered in oil. If you are going to use the oil in a day or two, drop a clove of roasted garlic in with the refrigerated tomatoes in oil.

Green beans with sun dried tomatoes

Added early to the cooking green beans, the dried tomatoes absorb the vitamin enriched cooking liquid and flavor.
Added early to the cooking green beans, the dried tomatoes absorb the vitamin enriched cooking liquid and flavor. | Source

Using sun-dried tomatoes

How to use: The intesified flavor of the dehydrated tomatoes is absorbed in the oil or water used to reconstitute them.

Use that tomato flavored oil in salad dressings, drizzle over pasta, baste or brown meat and vegetables.Use tomatoes to make bruschetta, salsa, couscous, chutney or on kabobs.

Marinate dried tomatoes in wine or stock to absorb even more flavor. Or, rehydrate by adding directly to vegetable or tomato soup and broth.

For a taste of summer in wintertime, use these dried tomatoes in salad dressing. An herb vinegar with dried tomato oil will make a quick, fast gourmet salad dressing. Combine equal parts of tomato oil and herb vinegar (I like tarragon vinegar), add a few dried tomatoes. Combine in a blender or use a stick blender to emulsify the ingredients.

What Kind of Oil? Use canola if you want it to remain clear when refrigerated. For a more flavorful tomato oil use olive oil. Olive oil will cloud in the refridgerator. Once it returns to room temperature, it will turn clear again.

Best French green bean.

Tomato Powder

Tomato powder, like sun-dried tomatoes, are a pricey gourmet treat. I would never pay the retail price. But, I am truly grateful to have tomato powder and sun-dried tomatoes in the pantry.

Tomato powder is pulverized, powdered dried tomatoes. It is a shot of intense tomato flavor when added to any recipe. Add tomato powder to thicken sauces, boost the color and, increase the vitamin A and C.

Tomato Powder – Turn dried tomatoes into powder using a food processor or blender. Use tomato powder for added nutrition and flavor in any dish. Store in the freezer to keep it from caking or clumping.

Tomato Paste - Need just a tablespoon of tomato paste in a recipe? by adding 1 tablespoon of powder and 1 tablespoon of hot water. Dilute even further for instant tomato juice.

Super Soup - make canned tomato soup even better by adding sun-dried tomato bits or blend in a teaspoon of tomato powder.

Tomato Dust - Sprinkle or use a lite dusting tomato powder to garnish deviled eggs, potato salad, omelets, cottage cheese.

How to make deviled eggs.

The origin of tomatoes*

Where do tomatoes come from?

See results

Like most cherry tomatoes, these large plants continuously produce heavy yields until frost. This continuous supply of little Riesentraube tomatoes are ideal for making "sundried" tomatoes in the food dehydrater.

Heirloom cherry tomato

This plump cherry tomato has a little point on the bottom. *The tomato originated in South America.
This plump cherry tomato has a little point on the bottom. *The tomato originated in South America. | Source

Riesentraube Tomato

Riesentraube Tomato Lycopersicon esculentum produces loads of 1 ounce, red cherry tomatoes. Riesentraube Tomato means"Giant Bunch of Grapes." So named because fruits are produces big clusters of cherry tomatoes.

This little tomato has lots of old fashion tomato flavor that's hard to find in small tomatoes. The Riesentraube Cherry Tomato is an old German heirloom found growing in America since the mid 1800s. Bright red fruits are slightly oval with a tiny pointed end.

Roma or paste tomatoes are often used for drying. I am also growing Sweet Gold, red Supersweet 100 and orange Sungold cherry tomatoes from Renee's Gardenseed. The Riesentraube tomato seed is from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.


Submit a Comment

  • Patsybell profile imageAUTHOR

    Patsy Bell Hobson 

    7 years ago from zone 6a, SEMO

    Thelma, A food dehydrater is one of the best investments I ever made. I certainly could not afford sun dried tomatoes at the market.

  • Thelma Alberts profile image

    Thelma Alberts 

    7 years ago from Germany and Philippines

    Thank you for writing this hub, Patsybell. I have been thinking for a long time about drying tomatoes for I love eating them with olive oil. Thanks for sharing. I will bookmark this.


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