Dried Cherry Tomatoes

My older daughter just finished her year long internship in DC and has moved to Madison Wisconsin to start graduate school.  Her new apartment is in a converted 19th century house, and the  kitchen is better in every way than the little closet kitchen she had in DC.  She’s excited and I’m excited for her.  The very first day she and her boyfriend arrived they started cooking.

Their enthusiasm is infectious, and when she told me about these oven-dried tomatoes,  I jumped on board.  We had batches in the oven simultaneously and compared notes on Skype.  Not quite the same as having her home, but fun all the same.

This project is simple, but a good one for a day when you’ll be around for a while, since the drying process takes several hours in a low oven.  After the tomatoes are dried, they can be jarred with olive oil and herbs, or frozen in baggies.

This is just another way to make the most of summer’s bounty, and tomatoes are so cheap right now, they’re practically giving them away!  I used multicolored cherry tomatoes from the farmer’s market.  The small tomatoes dry easily, and they are super sweet, almost like candy, after they come out of the oven.

I halved the tomatoes and gave them a little squeeze over a bowl to release some of the excess juices and pulp.  They get a quick drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper, and then get laid out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  I put my tomatoes cut side down, but next time I’ll set them cut side up, they will dry better that way.  By the way, the parchment paper is important—don’t skip it—the long cooking process caramelizes the sugars in the tomatoes and leaves behind a mess.

After about 4 hours in the 200 degree oven, they come out all shriveled and ugly.  Now taste one.  They’re chewy, super sweet, and amazing.

At this point you can pack them into a clean jar with some sprigs of rosemary, and then fill the jar with olive oil to use later.  You can stash them in a baggie in the refrigerator if you just want to snack on them, or you can freeze them.  Just freeze them right on the tray, and then, when they are frozen, you can pop them into zip lock freezer bags.  They’ll keep forever.

Now you can use them like you would any sun-dried tomato: on salads, in pasta, pizza, or as part of a cheese plate.

28 Comments

  • Reply
    Mary Campbell
    March 18, 2013 at 2:09 am

    How do you store the dried tomatoes after drying them and putting them in canning jars with olive oil and herbs, in the refrigerator or on the shelf?

  • Reply
    l o v e l y t h i n g s
    August 20, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    these are gorgeous! and I’m sure quite delicious!

  • Reply
    Rachel Ring
    August 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Sigh, these are so absolutely beautiful and delicious – can’t wait to make them tomorrow when I have time (and go round up a few more tomatoes from the garden). So excited since I just used the last of the sun dried tomatoes from the jar I had bought (cross that off the shopping list and just make ’em, yum)

  • Reply
    Cuisine de Provence
    August 18, 2012 at 6:42 pm

    They look scrumptious!

  • Reply
    Barbara
    August 18, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    I love this, Sue. I’ve roasted tomatoes and served them in a salad (so sweet!!) but never thought about adding oil and preserving them like that.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      August 18, 2012 at 7:19 pm

      I like it because you can use the tomatoes and the oil, which takes on great flavor. I like to use it in pasta or when I’m sauteing chicken.

  • Reply
    Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
    August 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    How wonderful for her – it’ll be a good year! And this is my favorite thing to do with cherry and grape tomatoes. Favorite! I think they’re beautiful even when they’re all shriveled up.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      August 18, 2012 at 7:24 pm

      Thanks Heather, I think she will have a great year, and for the first time in our lives, she’s teaching me a few things about cooking, which is fun.

  • Reply
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen
    August 18, 2012 at 11:07 am

    How adorable and your photo of the tomatoes in the jar is spectacular. These are sort of like sun-dried tomatoes without the sun. Fabulous idea!
    Sam

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      August 18, 2012 at 7:23 pm

      It would be fun to try to dry them in the sun, wouldn’t it? With the weather we’re having, I think it would work!

  • Reply
    Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes
    August 18, 2012 at 3:47 am

    I love this and I can’t wait to make this with my garden tomatoes!!! I love sun-dried tomatoes too!

  • Reply
    Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti
    August 17, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    What a wonderful idea! They look so appetizing!

    Best of luck to your daughter! and lived and worked there a few years before graduate school in Colorado. He loved the experience!

  • Reply
    The Café Sucré Farine
    August 17, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Sue, I love oven roasted tomatoes and your photos are beautiful! Love the first one in the jar, it looks like a piece of art work!

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      August 18, 2012 at 7:33 pm

      It was a challenge to get appetizing photos of the finished tomatoes, for sure. I did notice, too, that the red ones kept their color the best.

  • Reply
    Andrea {From the Bookshelf}
    August 18, 2012 at 1:02 am

    THis looks so great and easy! Off to the farmer’s market!

  • Reply
    Dom at Belleau Kitchen
    August 17, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    absolutely summer in a jar… send me one too!!!! PURLEEEEEESE!!!!

  • Reply
    Nessa Robins
    August 17, 2012 at 10:40 pm

    I love that you and your daughter were cooking together. Isn’t Skype just so fantastic! I’m awaiting a big glut of tomatoes from my greenhouse and will be sun-drying a good bunch of them.

  • Reply
    Lea Ann (Cooking on the Ranch)
    August 17, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    I love this. I’ve oven dried large tomatoes once and the flavor was fabulous. Never thought to jar/oil and herb them. Thanks for this post.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      August 18, 2012 at 7:25 pm

      Thanks Lee Ann, I thought of trying this with larger tomatoes, but I’m guessing it would take literally all day!

  • Reply
    SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    August 17, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I welcome your daughter to our state! Madison is such a beautiful, fun university town and only a little over an hour drive from Milwaukee so we enjoy going there for an occasional Badger football game in the fall.

    I have an abundance of cherry tomatoes this year so I can not wait to try this method to dry them.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      August 18, 2012 at 7:30 pm

      Thanks, Susan—I’ve never been to Wisconsin, but we’re looking forward to visiting her…so far she loves it, and I’m jealous of her farmer’s market, which apparently is the largest farmer’s market in the country.

  • Reply
    Tricia @ saving room for dessert
    August 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I am such a fan of dried tomatoes! They are perfect in/on just about anything. Love them in scrambled eggs. Yum :)

  • Reply
    From the Kitchen
    August 17, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    I’m so glad you posted this recipe before I headed to the Saturday market! One vendor has such lovely and colorful cherry tomatoes and I’m anxious to preserve some of them for later enjoyment.

    Best wishes to your daughter in grad school!

    Best,
    Bonnie

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      August 18, 2012 at 7:37 pm

      Thanks, Bonnie. We have one vendor, too, at our market that sells a great variety of cherry tomatoes. They separate them into different boxes and they look fantastic.

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