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Oven-dried cherry tomatoes

oven-dry-cherry-tomatoes-2Oven-dried cherry tomatoes. The Pasta Maker recently discovered a button on the cooker declaring ‘dehydrate’ and decided to give it a go!

First on the list for dehydration were a wonderful collection of colourful cherry tomatoes. We must start out by preparing you to accept what those beautiful ‘jewels’ as Theresa called them, will look like once they have dehydrated – not pretty! We have to accept that organically grown and home cooked, baked, roasted, grilled or dried produce are not going to look the same as the stuff loaded with ingredients you can pronounce or even read. However, they are all natural and absolutely delicious.

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We do have to apologise for not handing any of our oven dried cherry tomatoes out as samples during the Farmer’s Market. However, we did incorporate them into a pasta salad and even though that has all gone, we are still being asked for it (doing our best to get around to making it very soon).

How to create your own oven-dried cherry tomatoes

You will need cookie sheets or some other baking tray that does not have high sides. You don’t want to steam those little gems, you need the heat to be passing around them freely.

Preheat your oven to 150 F if you don’t have a ‘dehydrate’ option.

  • Slice small cherry tomatoes in half and larger ones in quarters, then arrange them on the baking sheet with the fleshy insides facing upward. From the photographs you may notice that not all of ours were facing up and those pieces didn’t dry out.
  • Sprinkle the tomatoes all over and lightly with fine sea salt which will help draw out the juice and allow it to caramelise and sweeten.
  • Place the tomatoes in the oven (middle, centre, top – it really doesn’t matter just as long as they are not stacked too closely. You will need the shelves of your oven to be spaced at least 3 inches apart.

We checked our cherry tomatoes every 2 hours to get an idea of how long they were taking to dry.

  • After 10 hours, and because it was now evening, switch the oven off, keep the door closed and leave the tomatoes where they are. The next day give them a further 4 hours in the oven at 150 F, then leave them in the oven until completely cooled and VOILA – the result!

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Because our cherry tomatoes did not completely dry and we didn’t have more time to dedicate to them, we removed the dried tomatoes from the oven. A large majority were dried thoroughly leaving some sticky and some just right.

what would we do differently

  • Well, we would have ensured that all of the fleshy parts of the tomatoes were upright.
  • We would have picked out the smaller pieces as they dried and left the larger pieces in the oven which would have meant a longer cooking time. We estimate that would have been another day leaving the stragglers in the oven with the door closed and oven off.

However, we really enjoyed the results for our oven-dried cherry tomatoes on this our first attempt.

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Published by thebigdreamfactory

My name is Susie Evans-Ardovini and I created The Big Dream Factory. I was born in the UK and have been a chef and restauranteur for over 30 years. During this time I have also lived in France and Italy where I visited many beautiful places and met many wonderful people. I am particularly impressed with the Italian way of life and their approach to food. Many families work extremely hard to grow and produce their own salumi, cheese, wine and olive oil which means that they have a wealth of knowledge and experience, most of which has been handed down through countless generations. It is no different in the kitchen. Nearly all foods served at an Italian table have been gathered from someones garden or field, and is then served alongside homemade, pasta, gnocchi, and countless dishes that could not be recounted in this tiny space since each family's knowledge is unique ... well, you can only imagine. I have walked Rome, climbed to the top of the Vatican, seen Milan, Venice, the Cinque Terre, climbed mountains, walked The Path of the Gods, wandered the great city of Napoli, lived on the little Island of Ponza and gathered a pile of friends, family and photographs as well as invalueable experience along the way. I became a new immigrant to the U.S.A on December 15th, 2013. With the support of many great friends and a passion (bordering on obsession), I am here in search of the American Dream and to bring you the natural flavours and vibrant colours of Italy. All my pasta, gnocchi and biscotti are made by hand just as I saw Italians do in homes and good restaurants all over Italy, every day and sometimes, twice a day. I hope you enjoy my creations and invite you to share your comments, photographs and recipes with me on Facebook or Twitter. In return I of course, will share beautiful Italy with you.

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