From ear to ear I grin. Daily. I love this time of year. Each trip to the kitchen garden reveals something ripe and ready to be picked. The tomato crop in particular, has been satisfyingly prolific. While we whole-heartedly embrace the short-lived decadence of eating these still warm from the sun, juicy gems fresh, oven drying them is a wonderful, simple way to extend the enjoyment.
Sweet, chewy, and intensely flavored, these are great to have on hand to incorporate into pasta dishes, scatter on garden salads or as part of an antipasto, with thin slices of Parmesan cheese, pepperoni and some crusty bread.
Mmmm. . . It doesn’t get much better than this!
Country House Oven-Dried Garden Tomatoes
Several pounds of tomatoes of any size, washed and dried
Preheat oven to 250° F.
Halve cherry and similar sized tomatoes; quarter larger tomatoes.
Line rimmed sheet pans with aluminum foil; grease with oil.
Place tomatoes skin side down on prepared pans. If you’re using different sized tomatoes, group like sized tomatoes together, using separate pans if needed. (Done times will vary according to size, and this will make the process easier.)
Sprinkle with kosher salt and place sheets in preheated oven.
Check on the progress once an hour, and as they get closer to doneness, every 30 minutes. Smaller, cherry tomatoes will be done first. They’re done when reduced in volume by about half, the skin looks a bit leathery, and the inside still has some juice.
Depending on your oven, this whole process can take between three to six hours, but it’s worth it.
Store your oven-dried tomatoes in a glass container, covering in olive oil if you like. We prefer to store them in the fridge and bring them to room temperature before serving.