Oil Packed Oven Dried Tomatoes

Overwhelmed by the big bags of farm fresh tomatoes on my counter top, I tried to think of great ways to preserve them for future use. One can only make so much fresh salsa and tomato sauce, so I thought that these oven dried tomatoes would make a fabulous treat over the next several weeks.

I start by lining several baking sheets with silpats (though parchment paper would work equally well if you don’t have a silpat laying around). I then sliced my tomatoes as thinly as I possibly could with a sharp serrated knife, and lined them up tightly on the baking sheets. I then popped them into my oven, set to its lowest setting (mine goes down to 170º though yours may go down even further). I bake them for approximately five to six hours at this low temperature, or until they are completely dry, and practically paper thin.

Meanwhile, in a skillet I combine two cups of extra virgin olive oil, five or six stems of fresh thyme, two large stems of fresh rosemary, about twenty garlic cloves, and a pinch of dried red pepper flakes. I turn the flame onto its lowest setting, and allow the flavors to infuse the oil, and the garlic to caramelize (which takes approximately 45 minutes).

Once the tomatoes are thoroughly dried, I remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on the sheet pans. I then carefully peel each of them off of the silpat (or parchment) and stack them up in glass jars, layering them with the roasted garlic cloves, and a few fresh stems of thyme and rosemary, a sprinkling of sea salt, and a healthy amount of freshly ground black pepper. Once the jars are filled, I cover the tomatoes with the cooled, herb infused olive oil. The filled jars can be stored in your refrigerator for up to a month.

The tomatoes are candy sweet and plump up a little in the oil. They make a great addition to pasta sauces or pesto, or on their own make a great topping for toasted bread, spread with fresh goat cheese. The oil is perfect spooned over grilled fish, and is delicious made into salad dressings. I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t be thrilled to receive a gift of one of these beautifully layered jars of ruby red tomatoes.  Though with the time and effort it takes,  letting go of the jars is a difficult task. I have to like someone A LOT to give these away. But realistically, while it is a time consuming process, each of the steps is easy, and once they are in the oven they essentially take care of themselves. It’s just one more great way to preserve the last of those fresh summer flavors. Enjoy!

Don’t forget to cast your vote for me for Project Food Blog, foodbuzz.com’s quest to find the next food blog star. You can cast your vote by clicking here. I appreciate all of your support!

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23 Comments

Filed under Snacks, Vegetables

23 responses to “Oil Packed Oven Dried Tomatoes

  1. That looks so good! I have always loved dried tomatoes, I only wish my plants produced too many this year, it was a surprisingly sparse season.
    PS. I saved a PFB vote just for you, good luck!

  2. Your blog is really beautiful. I discovered it while going through the pfb entries (and voted for you, of course ;)

  3. Stunning result. Great post and voting for you in the contest. Good luck too!

  4. misssmouse

    What lovely photos, and I am so happy you did these in the oven. I have been wanting to dry some of my lovely tomatoes but I hadn’t been able to find one that didn’t use a dehydrator so thank you!

  5. I would die to eat those garlic cloves. Yes, yes I would. Question: I recently oven dried some tomatoes as well, but I’m under the impression that storing them in oil leaves open the possibility for botulism. Thoughts?

    • Hi BB,

      That’s a great question. Honestly, I have never given it much thought. I have been making them this way for so many years now, and have never had a problem. I think originally, years ago, I was inspired by a recipe in Martha Stewart Living magazine. As I look around the web now, I see lots of recipes. Though I also see some warnings like those that you mention. I think the key is the length of storage time. Oil is not a long term storage method for low acid foods. But for a couple of weeks in the fridge, it doesn’t seem bad (to me anyway). If you are worried about it, I found a site that recommends soaking the dried tomatoes in distilled vinegar for twenty minutes before packing them in oil, as raising the acidity eliminates the worry of botulism. Hope that helps.

      Thanks for stopping by! =)

  6. superb!! love the pictures, can almost taste it.

  7. You have such a lovely blog, and I’m so glad that I stumbled upon it tonight! I will certainly vote for you! How could I not? I’m excited to take an afternoon to peruse all of your lovely recipes. That cranberry biscotti is calling my name!

  8. You’ve had me at oil packed. This looks awesome. I’m excited to go back to my garden plot in a couple of days.

  9. My favorite tomato is the sundried oil packed. I’ve never made them myself but since they add so much to a dish, I should try.

    Does your food processor slicer not slice the tomatoes thin enough?
    I love the way you flavor the oil.

  10. That jar is just full of gorgeous colors and flavors! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  11. Very creative use of tomatoes! Definitely agree only so much salsa and tomato sauce one can have.

  12. Absolutely gorgeous. I would love to make these.

  13. I am totally blown away with your blog. Wow! I have such a hard time with pictures as lighting in my Manhattan apartment is not the best and I have purchased the tent, lamps, etc. I work during the day and I mostly cook in the evenings so it makes me so frustrated. Now looking at yours it makes me want to really try harder. By the way…you got my vote also.

    Bena Suerte! Good Luck and hope to see you in San Fran.

  14. Beautiful pictures, I have loads of tomatoes and was just wondering what to do with it. Thanks. And just sent a vote to you.

  15. woman&warrior

    Stunning recipe. This post smells like the Next Food Blog Star!

  16. oh the pictures are too beautiful! and i love this idea for saving the tons of tomatoes i have from the garden this month!

  17. I know this sounds kind of weird, but I LOVE that jar! It’s AWESOME! :D

    Beautiful post as always, Jacob – good luck with PFB! Rooting for you, lovely!

    Jax x

  18. I found your blog through PFB and I voted for you, I am glad I did. I love this idea! I always avoid buying tomatoes in bulk bc I am sure they will go bad before I use them. This is a great solution. Thanks!

    I think you might have a new follower. :D

  19. I love visiting your site, I have bookmarked it

  20. Beautiful pictures, as always, an another way to use those tomatoes!

  21. Thanks for the FB friend request so I found you! Just voted for you – not even a fan of sliced tomatoes, but those look amazing! :D

  22. I love oven roasted tomatoes. Yours look beautiful layered in the jar.

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