There is nothing more exciting than making your own sun-dried vegetables. It’s no secret that they’ll last longer in shelf life and taste so much better compared to regular tomatoes. If you want to make sun-dried tomatoes that are well-marinated and taste good, you’re in the right place.
You will learn step by step how to make marinated sun-dried tomatoes so you can add them to your favorite salads and foods. You will also need some other ingredients that will make those tomatoes burst with flavor every time you take a bite. Once you’ve made your first batch, you’ll probably want to end up making more.
With that said, let’s dive in:
What You Need?
Here’s what you need for ingredients: tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil. Optional ingredients include garlic cloves, onions, etc.
There are three different ways to make sun-dried tomatoes. We’ll be taking a look at how to make them using any of these three methods:
- Food dehydrator (Option #1)
- Oven (Option #2)
- Single layer racks (Option #3)
How To Make Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Sun-dried tomatoes are perfect for salads, pasta, casseroles, and so many other dishes. But when they are marinated with other herbs and vegetables, they really are tasty. Let’s dig in and create some magic by “sun drying” some tomatoes:
- Wash the tomatoes and remove the stems.
- Cut the tomatoes into ¼ slices. Alternatively, you can cut the tomatoes in half. As a rule of thumb, just know that thicker pieces of tomato will take longer to dry compared to ¼ slices.
- Take the slices and place them in the dehydrator tray. If you have any dried oregano or basil handy, this would be a good time to liberally sprinkle some on your slices.
- Power on your oven or dehydrator and set it to 150 degrees (see further down below for instructions to dry tomatoes in the sun). At this temperature, it can take ten hours to dry the tomatoes. However, it may also depend on the liquid content of the tomatoes. The less it has, the shorter it will take to dry. Check on the tomatoes every four hours. You’ll know they are completely dry if they appear to look leathery.
- Once complete, remove your sun-dried tomatoes and place them in an airtight container. You can store them in the refrigerator or freezer. Either way, the shelf life will be extended. You can expect these sun-dried tomatoes to have a shelf life of six months to a year if they are properly stored.
Option #1 – the food dehydrator
If you are looking for a way to make healthier foods like sun-dried tomatoes or beef jerky, food dehydrators are a must-have in your home. Choosing the best food dehydrator depends on many factors, like how often you plan to use, what you plan to use it for, and what your budget is. For something like sun-dried tomatoes, however, an entry level dehydrator would be fine
Not to mention, it’s a real money saver when compared to purchasing foods that are already packaged for sale. In other words, the cost-effective way to get your hands on sun-dried tomatoes is to make your own.
Not only that, if you are growing your own vegetables, you can be able to grow more and make an abundant amount of freeze-dried foods. That way, you’ll never run out and you’ll always have them on hand long after you’ve made them. Because the shelf-life is lengthy, you won’t need to throw away foods as often due to spoilage.
Simply put, when it comes to using a food dehydrator, you are making sun-dried veggies that put their canned counterparts to shame.
Option #2 – the Oven Method
If you do not have a food dehydrator, you can still be able to dry the tomatoes. You can use an oven and set it to a temperature of 150 degrees. They will typically take a few hours to dry, so check on them regularly. If they take on a leathery texture, then they are done.
The instructions on how to prep them are roughly the same. You can be able to sprinkle some basil or oregano so you can give it that enhanced flavor. One bite and they will be the best tomatoes you’ve ever tasted.
Option #3 – The “Sun-Dry” Method using Single Layer Racks
Of course, you can literally dry tomatoes in the sun. However, there are certain conditions that need to be met in order for you to make this method more effective. For one, you have to live in an environment where high heat and low humidity is normal.
Clearly, a high-humidity environment would defeat the entire purpose since there will be moisture in the air. Tomatoes left in the open air with plenty of moisture will mold and create a hotbed for bacteria. If you live in an area where the weather gets hot and humid, one of the previous methods above will be your best bet.
With this method, you’re going to need to blanch the tomatoes and remove the skins. Next, you’ll need to cut them in half and remove the pulp and seeds entirely. Using a single layer rack, place the tomatoes on top and let them sit in the sun.
You also need to make sure there is a two-inch space that will allow for appropriate air flow. The tomatoes must be in the full sun in order for this process to work. Every day for the next 12 days (which is the estimated time for this method), turn the tomatoes and bring in the racks every night.
The natural sun dry method is the longest in time elapsed since it doesn’t rely on the use of either an oven or a food dehydrator. The air temperature will be less than 150 degrees, so you don’t want to use this method if you quickly want to make sun-dried tomatoes.
What makes the “sun dry” method great?
If you are using the sun dry method, you’ll be able to make the flavor a bit more nuanced compared to the other two methods above. However, it may not be a good idea to use this as a way to preserve them for a longer shelf life.
Making marinated sun-dried tomatoes can be a great culinary skill to have up your sleeve. Especially when you want to make something that will make a great add on for plenty of dishes. You can also be able to give them more extra flavor with additional ingredients like garlic cloves, salt, and onions.
Whether it’s with a food dehydrator, an oven, or nature itself there is no wrong way to make sun-dried tomatoes that are “oh so tasty”.