Saturday, October 31, 2015

Oil-Packed Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Used with Permission by Gina Martin

I have dried tomatoes for several years, but I have had trouble rehydrating them easily for use.

Last year I tried placing them in oil - and found a winner. They were ready for instant use on pizza or salad. This year, I made sure that I had two jars of these tomatoes stored for winter. An added benefit is that one quart jar will hold a pan full of tomatoes - a great space saver in the pantry.

Here are the steps I followed.

1. Dehydrate tomatoes. I followed these directions for drying tomatoes. I like to dry them until they are leathery. When making tomato powder, I like to dehydrate a little longer until they are crispy. But for oil-packed tomatoes, I like them to still be bendable but with no moisture remaining.
2. Next I set up a dipping station. For safety, I dip the dried tomatoes in apple-cider vinegar. I use tongs to dip the tomato slices in vinegar, allow to drip for a few seconds, then layer them in a quart jar.

I continue dipping and layering until I have used all the tomatoes.

3. I then fill the jar with olive oil - making sure the tomatoes are completely covered with oil. This seems like a lot of oil but it won't be wasted. After using the tomatoes, I love to make salad dressing with this tomato-infused oil.

As the tomatoes soak up the oil, they may sink down further in the jar. If you are making more batches of dehydrated tomatoes, you can add more vinegar-dipped tomatoes to the jar, adding more oil if needed.

4. Store the jar of oil-packed tomatoes in a dark place.The color of the tomatoes will change but they will stay tasty for over a year.

5. To use, fish out a tomato with a clean fork. Chop and add to a salad or pizza. Enjoy the intense flavor of summer.