Welcome to my series called Conveniently At Home. The idea of this series is to slowly transition myself from buying pre-made and/or processed foods and eventually make most of my foods “from scratch.” This will be a slow journey but one worth the wait!
There’s just something about sun-dried tomatoes that seems to make a regular pasta dish seem a little more gourmet. I’m not sure what it is about it or maybe that’s just me. I finally splurged the one day and bought a bag in the store. The price seemed high but after making these, I can see why. It takes a lot of tomatoes to make one little bag. But, with summer here I know that soon some of you will be like I normally am each year and having an over-abundance of tomatoes and no idea what to do with them. So I thought I’d share this simple recipe that I found online at AllRecipes.com. I often find a lot of good ones on that site.
I had to laugh at how simple these are to make. Now, I haven’t ever tried to make these outside as real “sun-dried” but I did find this was a nice thing to make on a cooler summer day in the oven to avoid turning on the heat.
(Yeah, it’s that simple!)
How to Make Them:
1) The first thing you must do is cut them in half and cut out the seeds. Roma tomatoes work best for this recipe.
2) Next, cut them into small pieces/strips. (You can keep them in just halves, but they take much longer to cook.) I laid mine on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Some I added salt to, others I didn’t. In the end, I think I did like the salted ones better, but you may want to try it both ways at first, too.
3) Then you are going to cook them at 200 degrees. Now it takes a long time for these to cook, so plan accordingly. I cut mine in such small pieces and our oven cooks fast so it took me about 4 hours. But some take up to 12 hours or more. (This is why you’ll want to do it on a colder day to utilize all that extra heat!) This is what mine looked like when I was done and I had less than the 4lbs when I started:
You’ll want to bake them until they take on a leather-like feel and still pliable. You don’t want them crispy (or over-dried) but still juicy in the middle. I can’t tell you how to store them as I gobble these down within a day or two and I’ve just kept them in the fridge in a Ziploc bag. I’ve heard you can store them in olive oil, but not sure any specifics.
These have come to be a nice little snack for me. Even the kids love eating them plain. And they are just fabulous when added to pasta dishes. They are a great way to use an over-abundance of tomatoes from the garden!
If you have a favorite recipe that you order when you dine out or have been getting store-bought, you should see if you can find a comparable one online to see if you can make it Conveniently At Home, too!