30 Nov 2011

Oven Dried Tomatoes

You will never want to go out and buy a jar of flavorless sun dried tomatoes again. I promise.

I love tomatoes. Usually though, I prefer them raw in salads and uncooked. The only exceptions I make to this rule are for sun dried tomatoes – but I am finicky about these too. I hate buying them in jars.

There were lovely ripe tomatoes at the vegetable market the other day. While I was walking around figuring out what all I needed to buy, this particular ‘sabziwala’ insisted that I purchase nothing but tomatoes from him. Indeed, he insisted in a way that I couldn’t get away even if I wanted to! These are ‘desi tamatar,’ he said, full of flavor. You come right back and return these if you don’t like them. Well, needless to say, I certainly didn’t have to return these babies! They were delicious and I even went back and bought another kg the next day.

At first I was toying with the idea of making a tomato tart or tomato jam. But then I realized that I didn’t want to pair it with anything and wanted the tomatoes only for themselves – something that would enhance their flavor. I have attempted sun dried tomatoes earlier and they didn’t work out very well due to the humid weather. So this time around I made oven dried ones. And then I made another batch. And so on the whole weekend long. I am now addicted. I snack on them just by themselves, I have eaten them on a sandwich and tossed them with spaghetti aglio olio. Now I am looking forward to trying out sun dried tomato butter!

 You HAVE to try these out. Period.

Oven Dried Tomatoes


1 kg fresh tomatoes (halved or sliced)
2 tbsp olive oil
8 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp ground pepper
1 ½ tsp garlic sea salt (add more according to taste)

  1. If you are using small tomatoes, halve them. Slice into four if you are using large ones. Scoop out the seeds (don’t throw them away – reuse in a chutney). Place the slices skin side up on some newspaper layered with paper napkins for 20 minutes. This will get rid of the excess moisture.
  2. Put the olive oil in a large bowl and add the garlic, basil, pepper and salt. Let this sit for 10 minutes so that the flavors are infused.
  3. Add the tomatoes to the bowl and toss them well so that they are well coated with the oil mix.
  4. Preheat the oven to 80 C/ gas mark 1/ 175 F or the lowest temperature possible.
  5. Line a cookie tray with parchment paper. Place the tomatoes skin side up and sprinkle the remaining garlic pieces from the bowl on top.
  6. Bake for 3 – 3 ½ hours. My tomatoes were not completely crispy and still had the teeniest amount of moisture in them. The edges turned black as well. But that is how I like them. Increase or decrease your baking time according to your taste. Some oven dried tomatoes are baked for upto 6 hours.
  7. Let them cool on a wire rack. Put them in a jar and top with olive oil. This will stay for months.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to make these this summer, if my tomato crop cooperates!