Home Made Sun Dried Tomatoes – golly I love that! I must’ve spent a small fortune on jars and packets of sun dried tomatoes over the years – they are an essential ingredient in so many of my dishes adding a chewiness and depth of flavour which even had my vegetarian hating father asking if I’d put meat in my Bolognese (yeah, sure Dad!). I’ve successfully dried them in my oven but they need a low temperature for a long time and there’s always something else which needs to go in before they’re done. But now, I have the solution!
Will you just look at those beauties?! Just in time for tomato season I have been sent an Optimum P200 Dehydrator* by the good people at Froothie! My full review will be here on Thinly Spread towards the end of next week but today I just want to share my glorious tomatoes with you and tell you the tale of a tail.
I sliced some fresh, juicy tomatoes into thick slices, laid them out on the drying meshes which came with the dehydrator, popped them into the drawers, switched on and wandered away to do something far more interesting than watching tomatoes dry! I can’t give you exact drying times because it will depend upon the juiciness or otherwise of your tomatoes but, as a guidleine, if you want them completely dried, are not using them immediately and are not packing them in oil as I did you will need to allow about 14 hours of drying time. I checked on them occasionally and when I was happy that they were no longer leaking juice and that they had reached optimal chewiness I allowed them to cool before jarring them in sterilised jars with olive oil, cloves of fresh garlic and sprigs of basil.
I didn’t have enough tomatoes to fill all 6 drawers of my dehydrator so I sliced up a couple of apples, sprinkled them with cinnamon and bunged those in too – they didn’t last long once the gannets came home from school I can tell you!
A certain family member was, as always, intrigued by my very odd habit of taking food and a camera out into the garden and not taking pictures of her! I gave in of course, how could I not especially since she had a nasty accident last week and hasn’t been allowed out since, poor love. A rapidly moving small boy, a heavy door and a (frankly) rather dim cat resulted in a visit to the vet to have the end of her tail amputated. She has spent the last seven days indoors wearing the cone of shame and looking very sorry for herself – I think we are all looking forward to when she is allowed back outside again!
I like adding oil to my home made sun dried tomatoes because it means I don’t have to dry them for quite as long as I would otherwise and I get to use the tomatoey, garlicky oil for cooking! I added basil this time but you could add any other herb of your choice, some chillis, or some mixed spices. I’ve already used this batch in a recipe which will be popping up here very soon but, once the tomato season is in full swing, I shall be making lots more for myself and to give away as gifts. I just find them irresistibly pretty!
*Disclosure: I’m an ambassador for Froothie and have been trying out the Optimum P200 Dehydrator – the latest addition to the Froothie range! My review and recipe posts which mention the Froothie contain affiliate links, buying through the links won’t cost you any more but I will earn a small commission which will enable me to keep blogging at Thinly Spread. All opinions are, as always, my own.