OVEN DRIED PLUM TOMATOES
When it comes to preserving tomatoes by means of drying or dehydration, there are numerous methods to follow.
The following method results in an oven dried tomato with some moisture and softness in the center. It is a tomato that will have to be refrigerated or frozen when finished.
This is not to be compared with sun-dried tomatoes that are stored at room temperature and require extensive and precise drying methods.
This particular method produces an intensely flavored; sweet, chewy oven dried tomato, perfect with cheese, bread or just for snacking.
12 plum tomatoes, washed, cored and cut in half lengthwise
1 tsp kosher salt
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.
Set up a sheet pan with a baking rack or cake rack on it, preferably a coated baking rack. Lay the tomatoes on the baking rack leaving approximately ½ inch of space between the tomatoes to allow for airflow. The baking rack also allows for better air circulation.
Sprinkle the tomatoes generously with salt.
Bake the tomatoes for 2 hours and rotate them in your oven. Continue baking (drying out) the tomatoes for another 2 hours and rotate the pan again.
Depending on the size of the tomatoes and your oven it could take anywhere from 5 – 6 hours total.
The tomatoes are done when the skin is shriveled and the sides of the tomato are caving in. The center of the tomatoes will be slightly moist.
Let the oven dried tomatoes completely cool and then store in airtight containers. Lay a piece of plastic over the surface of the tomatoes to prevent air
They will last in your refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. Oven dried tomatoes can be stored in freezer bags, removing as much air as possible, and frozen for up to 4 months.
Variation: Add a few rosemary leaves to the cavity of the tomato at the start of the drying process.