Dried tomatoes add color and flavor to salads, pizza, soups, pesto, and sauces. Paste types work best, as they have less water.
Cooking Fresh: How to Oven-Dry Tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash about 5 pounds of tomatoes. Peel the skins, if desired. Remove the stems and blemishes. Cut the tomatoes in half, take out the seeds, and then cut the halves into ½- to ¾-inch slices.
Place the tomato slices on cookie sheets such that they do not touch each other. Sprinkle with seasonings or salt, as desired. Place in the oven and bake for 6 to 24 hours, depending on the variety, size, and moisture content of the tomatoes. Use an oven thermometer to monitor the temperature periodically and make sure that it is correct; adjust as needed. Check the tomatoes every so often and switch sheets from top to bottom racks and back to front. Turn the tomatoes over occasionally.
The tomatoes are done when they turn dark red and are leathery and dry; they should be flexible and not hard or brittle. If they are tacky or moist, keep baking. When ready, remove the sheets from the oven and cool the tomatoes to room temperature. Place in plastic bags, squeeze out the air, and store in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 weeks or in the freezer for 8 to 12 months.
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