The other day, I wanted to recreate one of my favorite breakfast dishes from a restaurant back in Sycamore, Eggsclusive Cafe. It’s an omelette that has fresh basil, sun-dried tomatoes, and avocado slices on top. So simple but so good.
To the store I went to grab the things I needed that I didn’t already have, one of which was the sun-dried tomatoes. I didn’t want to get the ones packed in olive oil because they tend to make everything else oily and the ones at my store always have some other flavoring like jalapeno added. So I picked up one of the packages, despite the $5 price tag, and flipped it over to read the ingredient list. That’s where I was met with sulfates and sulfites and other preservatives to keep “freshness and color retention”.
No brand at my store had sun dried tomatoes without some kind of chemical or preservative and I didn’t want to spend $5 or more on something that I didn’t want in my body. I almost resigned myself to the oil packed tomatoes when I thought to myself, “Self, can’t you just make your own sun dried tomatoes? I mean obviously not in the sun, that would take too long and you don’t have a sunny spot in the apartment, but in the oven? And wouldn’t it be like way less expensive?”
Yes, my self was correct. I can make sun dried tomatoes in my oven and have fresh, preservative free toppings for my omelettes and whatever else my heart desires. If you have a food dehydrator you probably already know that you can make your own sun-dried tomatoes and it’s fairly simple. If you don’t, you can do like me and make them in your oven!
Sun Dried Tomatoes
- One 8 oz. package of grape or cherry tomatoes
- olive oil, optional
- salt, optional
* I made mine without oil or salt but you can, it just may take a little longer to dry out.
- Preheat your oven to the lowest setting. If it’s 150-170 lucky you, the rest of us will have to make due with 200.
- Wash and dry the tomatoes and then slice in half. Arrange the tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. If you want to add olive oil and salt, toss the tomatoes in a bowl and make sure they’re covered then arrange on your baking sheet.
- Place the sheet in the oven to dry out. Now, if your oven only goes to 200 you’re going to have to keep an eye on things to make sure the tomatoes don’t burn. I opened my oven every 10 minutes or so to let out some of the heat.
- Turn over the tomatoes every so often. Remember you’re just trying to dry them out, not roast them. They’re done when they look shriveled like red raisins. Take them out of the oven and let them cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
* Make sure the tomatoes are completely cool and dry before you store them because any moisture in the container will make them mushy and spoil sooner.