Home “Sun”dried Tomatoes with Basil and Garlic

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes of any variety.  Using a blend of types will give you beautiful variations in color and shape.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, preferably Genovese, washed and very thinly sliced (otherwise known as chiffonaded basil.)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt or sea salt

Wash your cherry tomatoes, examining them for bad fruit or soft spots.  Trim away any soft spots and remove any stems.  Halve all of your cherry tomatoes.  If you have any particularly large cherry tomatoes, quarter them so they will be the same size as the others.  The more uniform your pieces, the more evenly they will dry.  Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, on a cutting board and sprinkle with the Kosher salt, chiffonaded basil and minced garlic.  Press the garlic and basil gently into the tomato halves.

…And here you need to make a decision.  If you have a dehydrator, use the first set of instructions.  If you do not, use the second set of instructions to dry your tomatoes.

Dehydrator Instructions

Transfer the tomatoes, cut side down, onto your dehydrator trays.  Do not overcrowd or they may not dry well.  Some garlic and basil will fall from the tomatoes; this is expected.  When all of your tomatoes have been arranged, scrape the basil and garlic that remains on the cutting board evenly over the dehydrator trays.  Dehydrate for 6-12 hours (at 135°F if your dehydrator has an adjustable thermostat) or until they are very shriveled.  They should be rather leathery and remain slightly pliable when warm but they should not be at all moist when you use a fingernail to dig into the centers.  When they reach this stage, allow to cool before transferring to an airtight container for storage.  stored in a cool, dry place in an airtight container, these should be good for up to one year.  Stored wrapped in foil and then in a resealable plastic bag, they will remain delicious for up to 18 months.

Oven Dehydrating Instructions

Preheat your oven to 130-140°F.  On some ovens, this will be the “keep warm” setting.  If your oven does not go this low, you will need to use your very lowest setting, prop the oven door open by about 4 inches,  set a small fan near the opening to keep air circulating, and reduce the cooking time (watching them carefully for scorching) for the most even results.

Line a baking sheet (or two, depending on the size) with foil.  Arrange the prepared tomatoes cut side down on the foil-lined sheets. Scrape the basil and garlic that remains on the cutting board evenly over the tomatoes.  Dehydrate for 6-12 hours or until they are very shriveled.  They should be rather leathery and remain slightly pliable when warm but they should not be at all moist when you use a fingernail to dig into the centers.  When they reach this stage, allow to cool before transferring to an airtight container for storage.  stored in a cool, dry place in an airtight container, these should be good for up to one year.  Stored wrapped in foil and then in a resealable plastic bag, they will remain delicious for up to 18 months.