Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes - Grow Your Own #1
To celebrate the bounty of her garden Andrea created the "Grow your own" event to motivate the use of ingredients we grow in our own backyard. As I live in a condo, I looked at the aromatic herbs corner in our laundry room and the first thing I laid eyes on was a thyme pot. The recipe that came to my mind I learned about 10 years ago with a friend, when sun-dried tomatoes were not very popular in Brazil. So, I asked my friend if I could post her recipe, and to my surprise she was making a batch of sun-dried tomatoes on the same day as me! This recipe requires some patience and time, even though it is so easy! Here's the whole recipe, but you can make enough to fill a roasting pan.
30 ripe tomatoes (romas work best)
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons salt
Fresh thyme (you can use oregano or Italian seasoning)
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Olive oil and black pepper
Preheat oven to 200°F/90°C.
1) Rinse the tomatoes. Cut them in half lengthways and remove the seeds. Place the tomato halves, cut side down, on a rack to dry for about half an hour and remove excess juice.
2) Place tomatoes onto tray, cut side up. Sprinkle with sugar and salt, drizzle a little olive oil over each tomato; add thyme, black pepper and garlic slices.
3) Bake in the oven for at least two hours. With a spatula, gently turn the tomatoes over, and bake for one more hour. Take the tomatoes from the oven, put them in sterilized jars, and pour olive oil on top so that all the tomatoes are covered. Keep them refrigerated and use within two weeks.
My serving suggestions: pizza (I will post it soon), dips, risottos, pesto, spaghetti sauce, etc.
The homemade sun-dried tomatoes have a milder flavor and a finer texture than the store-bought variety.
Update: The old-fashioned sun-dried tomatoes are dried out in the sun and this may be time-consuming. It can take you from four days to two weeks. You place the tomatoes skin-side down on clean plastic (not metal) framed screen, add salt, cover them with cheesecloth, raised so it does not touch the tomatoes, to keep off bugs and dust and provide proper ventilation. Bring them in during the night and return them outdoors when the sun is bright.