Sun-dried tomatoes in oil and with spices are good on their own, and in porridges and salads. Sandwiches with them are a miracle, having tomatoes and herbs for breakfast on toasted bruschetta is the dream of any gourmet.
The sun-dried tomato is not too overdried. It retains all its useful qualities. Under the right conditions, it can be stored for a long time, in winter it will be an excellent substitute for «plastic» tomatoes from the supermarket.
Cooking is not difficult at all: in the oven or in a dryer for fruits and vegetables. How long to cook and what spices to add — these nuances are described below.
Trick: How to make a fruit dryer from the refrigerator: a visual guide
Which tomatoes to choose for drying
Fleshy varieties the size of a walnut or a matchbox are what you need. These are plum, cherry and cocktail tomatoes.
Larger ones will have to be cut into several parts and the seeds removed. Only fleshiness should remain.
Sun-dried tomatoes: a recipe in the dryer
To prepare sun-dried tomatoes in a dryer, you need 8-12 hours and sterilized jars.
They take as many tomatoes as they think is necessary, but only taking into account the volume of the electric dryer. In devices used for home use, it is 4-5 kg. Although there are others.
When drying, the tomato shrivels and loses its volume. Depending on the juiciness of the vegetables, sometimes more than 10 times. Most often, 4-5 kg of fresh tomatoes yield 400-500 g of dried tomatoes.
If it is planned to harvest more, experienced housewives transfer the dried fruits to other pallets, compacting them in this way. And in those that have become free, fresh slices are laid out, and with the time of cooking, they are taken out one by one. Try it too.
Informative article: How to choose a fruit dryer?
- 4-5 kg of tomatoes;
- 300-400 ml of any vegetable oil, preferably olive oil;
- salt and spices;
- 3-5 cloves of garlic at your discretion.
According to the classics, in the Italian version, tomatoes are poured with olive oil. If you keep it in the refrigerator, it crystallizes. And that’s normal. After standing for a while at room temperature, the oil will become liquid again. You can take refined from sunflower. It does not crystallize in the cold. Its taste is neutral.
Of the spices, Italian or Provencal herbs are best, but you can replace them with any others to your taste.
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Before drying tomatoes in a dryer, they must be washed and cut in half. Remove the base and white streaks, if any. Assess how watery the fruit is. If there is a lot of juice and seeds, it is better to take out the middle with a spoon and leave only the pulp near the skin. Add salt If desired, add spices so that the tomatoes are spicy immediately after drying. Or add the spices later, together with the oil.
Stages of preparation:
- Place the pieces on pallets with the cut side up. Stack as tightly as possible. Place the pallets on the dryer and close the lid.
- Set the temperature and timer. It is best to start with 40 degrees. Gradually increase to 50-70°C, but not more.
- Periodically check the condition of the fruits. If the dryer is with vertical blowing, it is necessary to change the trays from time to time. It takes 8 to 12 hours for the tomatoes to become sun-dried.
- Take the tomatoes out of the dryer. Let them cool down.
- At this time, prepare the dressing. Add spices to the oil and heat the mixture a little, without bringing it to a boil. It is only necessary to warm it up a little, under the influence of temperature the aroma of spices will be better revealed.
- Chop or mince the garlic. Add to the spicy oil.
- If you plan to store it for a long time, take a sterilized jar. Put a little garlic on the bottom, a layer of sun-dried tomatoes on top. Tamp down Add salt (if you didn’t do it first). Fill each layer with fragrant oil, filling to the brim and tightly closing with a lid.
The result should be a full can of tightly packed tomatoes mixed with garlic. All this should be filled with oil with spices to the edges. It is important that all the tomatoes are covered with liquid.
Read: How to sterilize jars in a microwave oven: 3 effective methods
How much to dry tomatoes in a dryer
On average 8-10 hours. The juicier the fruit, the longer it will take. Much depends on the set temperature.
One more aspect. Not all fruits dry gradually. To make sun-dried tomatoes in a dryer, it is important to periodically check readiness. The tomato is ready when it has already shrunk significantly, no liquid comes out when pressed, and the pulp is quite elastic.
If you overcook the tomatoes, you will get vegetable chips. If not dried, mold may appear due to excess moisture during long-term storage.
How to store sun-dried tomatoes
Understanding how to cook sun-dried tomatoes in a dryer is only half the battle. It is important to store them correctly, otherwise all efforts are in vain.
The cans in which the finished product is placed must be hermetically sealed. If moisture and air do not enter, the workpiece is stored longer. You can leave it in the refrigerator or in a dark storeroom, in a box or closet on the balcony, corridor, cellar, garage.
After opening the jar, keep it tightly closed in the cold. If you follow the recommendations of this article, sun-dried tomatoes will last until the next harvest.
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