Can you believe I’ve never tried to dry my own tomatoes? I buy sun-dried tomatoes for a lot of things – this zucchini casserole, or this sardine salad – and yet, I’ve never tried to preserve my own bit of summer. This past Saturday, I opted to pick up extra grape tomatoes at the farmer’s market just so I could make these sweet little nuggets. One caveat – I didn’t use the sun to make my “sun-dried” tomatoes. I used my dehydrator.
My only regret? That I didn’t buy more tomatoes! These couldn’t be simpler to make – just slice grape tomatoes in half, and lay them out in a single layer on the dehydrator screen. Pop them in the dehydrator and turn it to 125 degrees F for 20-22 hours. That’s it. I was surprised that they retained their beautiful, brilliant red, but even more delighted when I popped one on my mouth. Sweet, bright, and chewy – like a lovely bit of sunshine in my mouth. They were like tomato candy.
Want to make your own dehydrated tomatoes? Don’t have a dehydrator? Laying the tomatoes out on a rack in the oven at the lowest temperature could do a bang-up job as well. Most ovens don’t go quite as low, so the time needed would be shortened – maybe 10-12 hours – but you could still keep that lovely bit of sunshine for months to come.
These likely won’t keep on the shelf for a really long time – to be safe, I put mine in the fridge. They’ll keep for a long while that way. That is, if I don’t sneak in and munch on them every time the fridge door opens.