I have one very prolific Sun Gold tomato plant that produces more fruit than I can eat on my own so I started looking for ways to preserve them. I decided to dry them in the oven. They turned out great and I’ve dried nearly a gallon of them so far. I’ve tossed them into pasta, salmon salad, and in a zucchini noodle dish.
Being oven dried, these aren’t as dry as fruit dried in a dehydrator, which is why they have to be preserved in olive oil or frozen. I like the olive oil method because you can add sprigs of herbs or garlic into the jar to add extra flavor and use the olive oil in whatever dish you’re making.
The first batch I dried left a sticky mess on my baking sheet so before the next batch I put foil down first and parchment paper on top of it. Clean up was much easier.
4 pints cherry tomatoes, washed & stems removed
Preheat oven to 250*F. Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper. Spread the tomatoes evenly across the pan. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 4-6 hours, until the tomatoes are wrinkled and just starting to brown at the edges. Allow to cool.
Preserving in oil: sterilize glass canning jars and lids in boiling water, allow to air dry. Fill loosely with dried tomatoes and a sprig of rosemary, thyme, oragano, and a clove of garlic if desired. Pour olive oil over the tomatoes. Leave at least a half inch head space at the top. Put the lids on the jars and seal them in a hot water bath for 6 minutes or leave them unsealed and refrigerate for up to a month.
Freezing: Put 2 cups of dried tomatoes in a quart sized freezer bag. Spread the tomatoes out flat inside the bag and freeze.