How to Slow Roast Your Own “Sun Dried” Tomatoes

This is another scheduled post, as Eric and I are at the beach with his parents until tonight.  But I’ve been so excited to share these with you that I’m writing the post a week in advance.  We’ve been getting so many tomatoes with our CSA lately.  Some big red ones, and tons of little cherry tomatoes, especially yellow ones.  Eric and I really love sun dried tomatoes, but they can be SO expensive.  I decided that I would try slow roasting some tomatoes to make our own.  It was one of my greatest cooking successes ever!!!!!!

I have always liked tomatoes, but I don’t know if I’d ever tried fresh, local tomatoes until our CSA.  They’re incredibly sweet and juicy!  Now I understand why the tomato has been called nature’s jewel, and natural candy.  How can I ever enjoy a store bought tomato again?  But as amazing as these tomatoes are fresh, they’re flavor is so intensified by slow roasting that it practically brings tears of taste bud joy to your eyes.

I’ve seen a lot of different recipes for roasting tomatoes.  Some put it on broil and do a quick charring of the tomatoes.  Some put the temperature as low as possible and roast them for 12 hours or more.  We don’t want to overheat our apartment during the summer, even at night, or use 12 hours of oven electricity.  So I was somewhere in the middle.  Using the cherry tomatoes meant only having to roast them for about 4 hours.  If you use Roma or larger tomatoes, you’ll need to lengthen the roasting time.  Following my recipe, you’ll have to refrigerate the tomatoes because I use herbs and garlic.  If you want to can some, omit the thyme and garlic and process for 20 minutes in a water bath.  Another option if you’re not canning them is that I packed mine in with fresh basil leaves, YUM!

Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

makes 1/2 pint

Ingredients

40-50 cherry tomatoes
about 1/4 cup olive oil
4 sprigs of thyme
2 TBS chopped garlic
1 TBS kosher or sea salt
pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Use a little olive oil to coat a rimmed cookie sheet.  Slice tomatoes in half and place cut side up on cookie sheet.  Drizzle liberally with olive oil.

Remove leaves from thyme and sprinkle over tomatoes, then sprinkle garlic over tomatoes.  Sprinkle with salt and a dash of pepper.

Place cookie sheet in the oven for 3-4 hours or until tomatoes are reduced in size and slightly charred.  Use a spoon to scoop into a glass jar and refrigerate up to 6 months.

Roast Tomato and Red Pepper Pasta

serves 4

Ingredients

4 servings of spaghetti noodles
pinch of sea salt
1 TBS olive oil
1 red pepper
2 TBS chopped red onion
around 20 roasted tomatoes
1/4 cup grated parmesan
8 leaves fresh basil

Instructions

Cook spaghetti according to package directions with sea salt in the water.  In a frying pan, add olive oil and heat on high.  Put in red pepper and onion, saute for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add tomatoes and stir well so oil from the tomatoes coats the peppers and onions.  Once peppers have softened, mix everything into the drained spaghetti.  Stir in parmesan.

Serve into bowls and top with sliced fresh basil.


Approximate cost/serving: If you get fresh, local tomatoes in season they can be very affordable.  I’ve seen them for less than $1 a pound at the farmers market, so it will cost about $1.50 for the roasted tomatoes.  The pasta only needs 4-5 tomatoes per person because they have such strong flavor.  It costs around $3 to make 4 servings of pasta, so 75 cents a serving!  It would cost about $1.30 a serving using sun dried tomatoes.

Vegetarian/Gluten Free: This is totally vegetarian and you can make the pasta vegan by omitting the parmesan, the tomato oil has enough flavor w/out it.  For gluten free, make sure to use gluten free noodles and read your parmesan label, sometimes pre-grated cheese can be coated in flour.


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15 Responses to “How to Slow Roast Your Own “Sun Dried” Tomatoes”

  1. jenn
    August 24, 2009 at 6:20 pm #

    That’s a really neat. I love sun-dried tomatoes I’ve always wondered of a way to make sun-dried tomato. I’ll have to try this the next I have some fresh tomatoes. Mmmm… They look delicious over that noodles.

  2. natalia
    August 25, 2009 at 1:20 am #

    Ciao ! They look delicious ! I usually sprinkle some grated pecorino, herbes and garlic .

  3. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction
    August 25, 2009 at 6:52 am #

    That’s a great idea! I have a huge bush (formerly plant, but grew way too large to be called a plant now) of cherry tomatoes growing in my garden… I think this is the perfect way to use them!

  4. Danielle
    August 25, 2009 at 9:28 am #

    what a great thing to know! your sun dried (not in the sun hee hee) tomatoes look great!

  5. diana
    August 25, 2009 at 9:47 am #

    I know, it’s totally funny to call them sun dried, but that’s the easiest thing to compare them too :)

    Jen, let me know how they turn out!

  6. wormeyman
    August 25, 2009 at 1:08 pm #

    Man that was good food!

  7. Rachelle
    August 25, 2009 at 7:42 pm #

    Thank you Thank you. Can’t wait to try this. I was actually wondering how you make those oil packed sundried tomatoes.

  8. Alta
    August 26, 2009 at 7:28 am #

    Oh, sounds so good! I need to get some more tomatoes from the farmers market and put some away for winter!

  9. My Food and Life Encounters
    August 26, 2009 at 1:36 pm #

    I love this!!!! Sun dried tomatoes is a fav!!! Thank you so much for sharing this. I saved it as a fav. and buzzed it!!!

  10. ValleyWriter
    August 27, 2009 at 7:43 am #

    Hmm… neat idea. I wonder if you could start them in the sun and then put them in the oven to finish.. we’ve been having some crazy hot weather lately…. Might have it give it a shot!

  11. Debi (Table Talk)
    August 27, 2009 at 5:33 pm #

    I have had great success with my tomatoes this year (and I am not much of a gardener)–My Sweet 100’s will work well slow roasting them for use in the months ahead.
    Nice pics!

  12. patsyk
    September 9, 2009 at 6:05 am #

    That pasta looks heavenly! I love roasted tomatoes! I tend to do them at a high temp for about 40 minutes and their sweetness is addictive!

  13. Jenn
    September 9, 2009 at 7:00 pm #

    Making these tomatoes right now! I’m pumped. hehe.

  14. Jessica
    September 20, 2009 at 8:30 am #

    This is perfect. I was just visiting my parents in Northeastern Washington and my mom literally has thousands of tiny, amazingly good cherry tomatoes and I couldn’t find a decent how-to for “sun-drying” them.

    Thanks!

  15. Cooking Dad
    September 21, 2009 at 11:00 pm #

    We still have a lot of tomatoes to harvest. I think I’m going to try this recipe and can them. Thanks for sharing!

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