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Oven-Dried Cherry Tomatoes in Olive Oil

There are days when I am just not the brightest color in the crayon box…

We have a bit of an overabundance of cherry tomatoes, so I thought I’d give oven-drying a try. I searched Chef Google and found a pretty simple recipe for oven-drying and then preserving in olive oil. About as simple and basic as simple and basic can be.

What I liked about the recipe was there wasn’t any canning, per se – just covering with the olive oil. My grandmother canned everything with paraffin, so I get the concept of keeping air out to prevent spoilage.

Back when I lived at Tahoe, my roommate, Steve, made a dehydrator from screens. The air is so dry at 7000 feet that we would slice up just about anything – strawberries, peaches, tomatoes – and lay them out on the screens and hang it outside. In a few days we had dried everything. Alas, things are just a tad different in the humid east.

To work I went.

I washed and dried tomatoes…

And then I sliced them and laid them out on sheet pans…

I sprinkled them with Maldon salt – because I have a lot of Maldon salt along with the 14 other salts I have from when I was going through my salt craze.

Into a 210°F oven for almost 6 hours, turning and rotating every hour.

I brought up 8 pint jars to hold the multitude, and brought up the big blue pot to boil them all in – they wouldn’t all fit in anything already upstairs and they needed to boil for 10 minutes before filling with the dried tomatoes.

Finally all ready. I started this at 8:30am and it’s now 3pm. Time to fill those jars.

I grab the first one out of the boiling water and filled it – with every one of the tomatoes. 7 hours and I got one jar of dried tomatoes in oil.

Not a great return on investment.

Pot went back downstairs, 7 jars and lids went back downstairs, and the lone jar of tomatoes went into the ‘fridge.

Here’s a link to the recipe in case you have nothing to do for six or so hours…

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