Now you can accomplish the drying one of two ways. Dehydrate your tomatoes in the oven or in a food dehydrator. The oven is faster, but will heat up your house. The dehydrator, well first you have to have one. They are great for other things, but if you are just drying tomatoes, it probably isn't worth the cost. However, if you are dehydrating cherries, herbs, or other garden goodies it may be worth your while because it takes twice the time of an oven, but your house stays cool. I use an older version of the one pictured on the left.
How to dry tomatoes? The first step is the same for both the oven and the dehydrator.
Prepare the tomatoes. The limiting factor is how many tomato halves fit on your cookie sheets or dehydrator rack. Start by washing the tomatoes and removing any stems. Then cut them in half. Now keep reading for the oven directions or skip ahead to the dehydrator.
Oven Dry Tomatoes
Place the Tomato Halves on a Cookie Sheet
Toss the tomatoes with a teaspoon of olive oil so they don't stick to the pan. Then arrange them with the cut side up on a cookie sheet and sprinkle them with sea salt. It doesn't matter if the sheet has sides or not. The tomatoes can touch. They will shrink as they dehydrate.
Dehydrate the Tomatoes in the Oven
Put the rack in the middle of the oven to allow for circulation. Place the tomatoes in the oven on low heat, between 200 - 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on how big and juicy your tomatoes are and how dry you want them, it will take 2-4 hours.
Place the Tomato Halves on the Dehydrator Tray
Arrange the tomatoes with the cut side up on a cookie sheet and sprinkle them with sea salt. Make sure there is plenty of room between the tomatoes so the air can circulate.
Dehydrate the Tomatoes in the Dehydrator
Put the tomatoes on the dehydrator. Use the vegetable setting, on mine it is 130-142 degrees F. Make sure to follow the directions that came with your dehydrator. Depending on how big and juicy your tomatoes are and how dry you want them, it will take 6-10 hours.
Store Dried Tomatoes
Once the tomatoes are dried you can store them in a Tupperware in the refrigerator. They will keep this way for a month. You can also freeze them for up to a year. Or my favorite option, pack them in olive oil. The next post gives the details on how to make Olive Oil Packed Dried Tomatoes with Basil.
It's tomato time here on my blog. This month I'll be looking at different ways to preserve and eat tomatoes. Check out my first post where there are lots of inspiring comments for how to enjoy tomatoes. I am also adding links to the tomato posts as they are published so you will be able to find them together. Check it out here: Tomato Recipes and Ideas
Now the question: What will you do with your dehydrated tomatoes?
This post was featured in Simple Lives Thursday.
***Miranda's method for dehydrating tomatoes in her hatch-back car. Check it out.