Condiments add flavour and texture to anything you cook. These oven-dried tomatoes are soft on the inside and leathery on the outside, similar to sun-dried tomatoes that you can buy in a bottle with oil. Sun-dried tomatoes are delicious, and you can achieve the same result with your oven! Oven drying brings out a rich flavour from the tomatoes. It also extends the life of the your tomatoes. Have them on your pasta dishes, or have them on toast or your home made pizza. You can even munch on them as a snack on their own.
If you are a tomato grower and have a bumper crop, you may wonder what you can do with them all. Extending their life by drying is an ideal solution.
Another way to extend the life of your tomatoes is to confit them. This method cooks the tomatoes slowly in olive oil. Confit tomatoes have a less intense taste and are jammy rather than chewy like oven-dried tomatoes are.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Flaky sea salt
- Olive oil
See the recipe card for quantities.
First, wash and pat dry the cherry tomatoes.
Cut tomatoes into half from the belly.
Place the halved tomatoes on an oven tray. Crush flaky sea salt between your fingers and sprinkle over the tomatoes.
Drizzle olive oil on the tomatoes and add thyme - leaves and sprigs.
Cook the tomatoes in the oven for 2-2.5 hours.
The tomatoes are ready when they are soft and leathery on the outside and dry inside.
You can replace thyme with rosemary or oregano—any herb that withstands heat, but not herbs like basil or parsley.
You can also use plum tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes; they will take a bit longer to dry.
You can store these tomatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. If you want to preserve them for longer, keep them in a sterilised bottle submerged in olive oil.
Open the oven to let the steam out after one hour to let the tomatoes dry quicker.
Oven-Dried Cherry Tomatoes
- 300 g Cherry tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Flaky Sea salt
- Thyme a few sprigs
- Preheat the oven to 100ºC
- Wash and pat dry cherry tomatoes.
- Cut the tomatoes in half from the belly.
- Place the halved tomatoes on an oven tray. Crush flaky sea salt between your fingers and sprinkle over the tomatoes.
- Drizzle olive oil on the tomatoes and add thyme - leaves and sprigs.
- Cook the tomatoes in the oven for approximately 2.5 hours.
- The tomatoes are ready when they are soft and leathery on the outside and dry on the inside.
- Once cooled, transfer into an airtight container and refrigerate.
In a professional kitchen, food hygiene and safety are top priorities, and from the beginning of my training, I practised good habits and routines. Of course, practising good food hygiene and safety at home is also essential. Here are some fundamental practices to adopt in the kitchen.
- Wash your hands regularly while preparing, handling and cooking food.
- Wipe down countertops and high-contact points regularly.
- If you cook meat and fish, do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat. Use separate chopping boards for meat and fish. Wash your chopping boards immediately after use.
- Thoroughly cook food to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).
- Don't leave food at room temperature for extended periods (more than 2 hours).
- Store food correctly.
For more details regarding food hygiene and safety in the home, visit the UK Government's Food Standards Agency webpage.