Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Homemade sundried tomatoes in rosemary garlic infused oil

With the recent advent of Organic Tomato Farming into my life, I have rekindled my love affair with sun dried tomatoes. Not that my love was ever far away, mind you, just that tomatoes worthy of the infused oil where few and far between. No longer. I will forever be supplied with tomatoes as long as Jim is in business. So, how do I turn supple sweet angelic tomatoes into sassy little sauce makers like these...? It's Tutorial Tuesday...so here's the tutorial on how to make sundried tomatoes.
It starts with my dehydrator. Honestly I can't call them sun dried I guess. I use electric dried most of the time simply because I don't want the onslaught of ants that usually accompanies the outdoor production of dried tomatoes. Sorry if you where looking for more of a purist. I still think they taste just as wonderful. I cut the tomatoes in quarters and dehydrate 8-10 hours.
Place the tomatoes, cut side up, directly onto the dehydrator trays. Set dehydrator temperature to about 140 F. After 4 or 5 hours, turn the tomatoes over and press flat with your hand or a spatula. After a few hours, turn the tomatoes again and flatten gently. Continue drying until done.

8 lbs of tomatoes will yield about a pint. I know that it sounds like a lot of tomatoes and it is...that is the point. It's a huge flavor in a small jar.

Behold...the jar of sun...
To pack in oil:
Cover them in high quality extra virgin olive oil. Make sure they are completely immersed in the oil. The oil will solidify at refrigerator temperatures (it quickly liquefies at room temperature however). As tomatoes are removed from the jar, add more olive oil as necessary to keep the remaining tomatoes covered. They can be frozen for up to 12 months without a problem as well!
I use a garlic infused oil and then add a sprig of clean rosemary...
which looks like Christmas. Don't you agree?
It is also a wonderful flavor to add 1T fresh cracked pepper,2T fresh basil, 3T fresh oregano, and 2 cloves of garlic to the packing oil. The oil is wonderfully flavored for pasta or may be pureed with the sun dried tomatoes to make a sun dried tomato pesto! I use it in Sundried tomato blush sauce and pasta. It's amazing.
Cap tightly. Keeps well over 3 months in the fridge. Like bottles of sunshine.
There you go.


Midodi said...

O.K. I can't wait to try this one!!! This is too amazing! You are so great to share you talent with everyone.

Chef Tess said...

Oh my gosh! Please leave your comments all the time! I love to hear good feedback...and make new friends. Love it! It made my day.

Denise said...

So I made a hot dish last night which consisted of whole wheat pasta, large shrimp and yes, little pieces of sunshine! I brought the other half in today for lunch and decided to have it cold. Lets just say, "there is sunshine in heaven!" Cold or hot they are wonderful! Thank you!

Chef Tess said...

Bless you! I'm so glad you love them! Your comment made my day!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips! One question...if I follow the steps, but use a canning jar and keep the jar airtight, how long will this last? I've read around online and some people said to put them in oil right before I want to use them, and store the rest in the freezer. But they didn't really give good tips on storing them long-term in oil. I'm planning on drying these in my car (recommended by another site I found since I don't have a dehydrator). Then after it dries, I wanted to store them in oil long-term if possible.

Great blog!


j scott said...

Question: " As tomatoes are removed from the jar, add more olive oil as necessary to keep the remaining tomatoes covered. They can be frozen for up to 12 months without a problem as well!"
How long can they be kept in the refridgerator?
(I found you through Funky Freezer Girls on Facebook!)

Chef Tess said...

Good in the fridge up to 3 months. Great question...and welcome! xoxo!