Monday, March 25, 2013

Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes In Olive Oil

Ever thought of making your own homemade sun-dried tomatoes, that is, if you have not made them before. If not, you should really try, especially if you love using those store-bought sun-dried tomatoes soaked in olive oil, sold in jars. It is not difficult to make, just that, you have got to be very patient as it takes anywhere from 6 to 10 hours for the tomatoes to be dried in a low temperature oven. You can dry them under the sun, but I think that it is more hygienic to use the oven, though it is definitely not the traditional way. Drying them under the sun would take about 2 weeks, depending on the weather and how moist the tomatoes are, and the tomatoes need to be covered with cheesecloth to prevent unwanted "visitors" like the flies and birds, and I am not that patient after all!

Buying sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil requires me to make a special trip to certain supermarkets, as not all supermarkets sells them. I would consider this as one of the gourmet ingredient since our Malaysian recipes do not use Sun-dried Tomatoes. This was one of the reason that got me interested to make my own.

The first time I made my own was back in June or July last year, and I did not soak them in oil, but left them dried and I still have a few pieces which is still very good, kept them in an airtight container in the fridge. They make very healthy snack! For longer storage, the dried tomatoes may be frozen and bring them back to room temperature before using.

Here's how I made the Sun-dried Tomatoes In Olive Oil :

  1. Get some ripe and firm tomatoes, if possible try to get the same size so that they take the same amount of time to dry. Wash them clean. Here I have used our locally grown tomatoes, I would try with Roma Tomatoes the next time, as Roma Tomatoes are meaty and has less seeds and not as juicy as other tomatoes, but they are rather costly. But I would really love to try the difference.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half and use a paper towel to wipe-dry the cut surface. You may remove the seeds if you want to, but I did not bother with that.
  3. Brush the cut surface with olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle the top with some sea salt.

Place the tomatoes on a wire rack over a tray, with the cut side facing up. Do not allow the tomatoes to touch each other, make sure there are space all around each half for the hot air to circulate. Place the tray in an oven with a low temperature of 100F-110F, and leave them for 6-10 hours. It all depends on how dry you want your tomatoes to be. Check them after 6 hours and if they are still plump and moist, dry them a little longer.

My oven Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes.

These are actually semi-dry, I dried them for about 8 hours at 100F, there are still some moisture in the tomatoes, which I really want. For drier tomatoes, dry them a couple of hours longer.

Once the tomatoes are cool, you may snack on them, use them for some recipes, or freeze them until needed. For this batch, I have soaked them in olive oil. Place the dried tomatoes in a clean jar, in two or three layers, sprinkle some dried herbs, here I have used dried rosemary, top with more dried tomatoes and sprinkling of more dried herbs. Fresh herbs like basil can be used. If you are using garlic, bear in mind that preserving tomatoes with garlic can lead to bacterial contamination, that was what I've read from some websites. 

Pour olive oil into the jar, until the tomatoes are completely submerged.

Seal the jar, and keep for a few days for the flavours to blend. Advisable to store in the refrigerator if you are not going to use it immediately, the oil will solidify if kept in the refrigerator. Simply bring it to room temperature before using, and the oil will get to normal once again. You many use the tomatoes in pasta, cooking, baking, salads and the oil can be used for drizzling over the pasta, salads and baking. 

There are no fixed amount of recipe for this, simply follow the steps above as a guide. Making your own is not cheap either! Olive oil is rather expensive and with the long hours in the oven, your electricity bill will do a somersault! Haha! But nothing beats the satisfaction of homemade goodies! I was all smiles as I look at my  jar of Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes In Olive Oil!

Will be sharing some recipes using my Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil in my coming posts next month!

These are the really dried ones which I made back in June/July last year. 

I'm linking this post with Little Thumbs Up, where the ingredient for this month is Tomato, organised by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids and hosted by my little favourite DIY.


  1. I cant wait for summer to come, this year I;ll go to Greece and I will make my sundried tomatoes outside under the sun.
    It;s a good alternative though to slow roast tomatoes, their flavor concentrates in the same but different way.. :)
    Have a great week!

  2. Thanks a lot for sharing this sun dried tomatoes recipe,

  3. Can't wait for the tomato season to arrive! Thanks for sharing, Joyce.

  4. Did aswell dried tomatoes couple of months ago. The result was super but it took sooooo long time to be ready. I think I had them in oven about 13 hours :). But sometimes its worth it :)

  5. No I never thought in making sun-dried tomatoes...and yes oven dried, I definitely do not want any uninvited guest on the tomatoes...
    Yes, I am sure that these taste much better than the store bought ones...thanks for the post Joyce and have a great week :)

  6. Hi joyce
    I am truly impressed ! Ive never used sundried tomatoes in my cooking before not to say making it. Yeah, not cheap to make this if using oven ~8 to 10 hours, oh my!

  7. Awesome! 8 hours of electricity used? lol! I think I buying it is cheaper! Interesting to know how it's done though:)

  8. Joyce, this is exciting! Actually, I haven't eaten sun dried tomatoes though I see them all the time at Cold Storage. Perhaps, I should grab a bottle to sample and if I like it, I might make my own!

  9. Joyce you made lots of effort here making sun dried tomatoes. Thumbs Up!

  10. My husband loves sun dried tomatoes, and I'd love to make him some with home grown tomatoes. This sounds easy enough! :)

  11. Hi Joyce, I've always wanted to make my own sun dried tomatoes but always a bit put off by the very long drying time. No wonder they're so expensive in the supermarket.

  12. Joyce, I have always wanted to try this... If I make a big batch, I think it would be worth the electricity to keep the oven running... Thanks for the step by step will do it sometime.

  13. Would really want to BUT our oven here is really small so it'll take several batch and hours to make this :P :D For sure , when I go back home in the Philippines , will try to make some ! Such a great idea , Joyce ! I always love your DIY posts ;)

  14. Ah Joyce your dried timatos look fantastic snd this is something always I wanna make delicuous!!

  15. Great post!!!! I admire your great effort on preparing these dried tomatoes :)

  16. Joyce, it must be a big satisfaction to see how the fresh tomatoes to be transformed into dried tomatoes. They look no different from store-bought ones! Great effort! You are so handy, homemade ricotta cheese + sun-dried tomatoes!

  17. Hi Joyce! Very clever and interesting way of making sun-dried... nope nope ... I mean oven-dried tomatoes at home! Do they taste the same as those bought from the store?

  18. thumbs up! thumbs up! sounds not difficult to make huh? make one jar for me then...this christmas!! hehe...

  19. Joyce,
    2 thumbs up for you!!
    Love your nicely bottled dried tomato.
    Cant believe your actually DIY it. You are so pandai..= )
    Thanks for sharing this in LTU,

  20. Luce delicioso y hermoso babeo por un pedazo con pan,abrazos y abrazos.

  21. Joyce feliz Semana Santa muchas bendiciones,hugs,hugs.

  22. i had no idea it was that simple. You better bet that once my homegrown tomatoes are ready I will be doing this

  23. Joyce, two weeks back I bought one bottle of sun dried tomatoes from Costco, is expensive! now I know how to make this in future. Thanks for sharing how to make this!

  24. Hi Joyce,

    You are so clever making your own sun-dried tomatoes. I thought of making my own too but got told off by my so-called money-wise husband... LOL! You know...


  25. wah so kuasa. mintak 1 botol boleh?? kaakkaka

  26. Use a dehydrator. Will take less time and a lot cheaper on the electric/gas bill. Ive got my dehydrator going 75% of the time, and it doesnt up my bill hardly at all.



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