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Sunday, 24 June 2012

Make your own sun dried tomatoes

With tomato plants now producing lovely ripened tomatoes daily and the sun shining strongly, there is no better time to make your own sun dried tomatoes. Sun dried tomatoes can be used in many recipes and add a lovely flavour to salads, soups and stews.

Sun drying will remove between 80% to 90% of the tomatoes moisture content but they still retain their many nutritional benefits.Smaller tomatoes, or even cherry tomatoes, which are ripe but still firm are the best varieties for drying. It will take about 11kg of tomatoes to produce 1kg of sun dried tomatoes.

For every 2kg of tomatoes you will need just under one cup of coarse salt. Wash the tomatoes thoroughly,  cut them in half and place the tomatoes, cut side upwards, on a tray. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and place in full sun covered with netting to deter insects from helping themselves to a meal.

Bring the tomatoes in after sunset and your tomatoes will need between 15-20 days of sun drying to thoroughly dry. Once fully dried, place the sun dried tomatoes in a sterilised jar and cover with olive oil and, if you want to add even more flavour, include basil or oregano with the oil. Keep you jar in the fridge and they will keep for a very long time. Alternatively, you can freeze your sun dried tomatoes in a freezer bag and they will keep for 6-9 months.

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