Mums Homemade Semi-dried Cherry Tomatoes
A little while back when on the phone to dad one day he could not stop talking about how good my mums semi-dried tomatoes had turned out. Apparently they had a whole heap of cherry tomatoes that my grandparents had given them from their farm. Not sure how many more salads they could throw them into mum decided to pull out the old food dehydrator and make some semi-dried tomatoes. “Next time you are visiting you have to try your mothers tomatoes” said dad on the phone to me, ” that is if they last that long”.
Well I am happy to report there were some lift in the back of the fridge for me to taste test. These beautiful red, incredibly sweet dried tomatoes had actually lasted long enough in the fridge for me to be able to brag about them to all of you. More importantly for me to be able to share the recipe with all of you. Very simple to make especially if you have a food dehydrator these gloriously sweet red delights will have you longing for more after the first time you taste them.
Great to add to pizzas, pastas or antipasto platters I recommend you put this on your rainy day must do list.
– 1kg of cherry tomatoes
– 2 whole garlic cloves
– rosemary sprig
– handful of sage leaves
– enough oil to cover (submerge) the tomatoes, rice bran oil is best to use as it does not harden like olive oil does in the fridge
Lets start cooking
Using a home food dryer is the best way to make these as it speeds up the process. The other way to do this would be sun dried but given the flies and creepy crawlies that inhabit North Queensland mum prefers to use the dryer. You can buy these good dehydrators from electrical good outlets.
Cut the tomatoes into 1cm pieces, if you are drying cherry tomatoes then you would probably cut in into 3, 1cm pieces. The tomatoes need to be able to lie flat on the dryer.
Once cut place the tomatoes on the dryer racks and then turn the machine on and allow to dry for about 24 hours or until most of the moisture has gone from the tomatoes. Mums preference is to have them semi dried as opposed to letting them dry out too much of their liquid. This takes 24 hours in her machine.
Once dried to your desired texture transfer the tomatoes to a sterilised jar, any old coffee jar or proper sterilised jam jar will do the trick.
In with the tomatoes place the rosemary, garlic, sage and enough oil to cover the tomatoes completely. It is essential that the tomatoes are completely submerged in the oil otherwise they will not last in the fridge long before they spoil.
It is possible for these tomatoes to last in the fridge for at least 3 months when done properly, well that is if they don’t all get even before then.
Note – If you don’t have a food dehydrator you can dry these out in the sun but this is not always practical due to natures creepy crawlies. The other option is to dry them in your oven overnight. I have not tried this myself but have read that you are able to dry them in your oven by placing them in the oven on baking trays on a very low heat, say 50 to 100 degrees celsius, you then allow these to cook slowly overnight but I would watch them closely.