Make your own homemade sun-dried tomatoes with salt or unsalted.
They are incredibly aromatic and with amazing texture!
Sun-dried tomatoes have a prominent place in vegan cuisine and rightly so!
They are great snacks on their own. Plain or with fresh whole wheat bread. We usually serve them as an appetizer. It is an excellent appetizer, perfectly accompanying ouzo, beer, wine, tsipouro and tsikoudia. As an appetizer, it can be served on a plate with simple ingredients such as cherry tomatoes, cucumber, olives, peppers, capers and nuts. Another incredible flavor combination is with our vegan Greek feta cheese. If you haven't tried it, here's your chance!
Other than as an appetizer, we use them in many of our vegan recipes as a flavor and texture enhancer. In several of our vegan recipes they play a crucial role, for example in the following:
- Vegan cheese from cashews and sun-dried tomatoes
- Linguini with fennel, ouzo, sun-dried tomatoes and capers
- Lima beans in tomato sauce, cooked in the oven or pot
- Salad with black-eyed beans and sun-dried tomatoes
- Greek green beans with sun-dried tomatoes
- Vegan mushroom no-meat balls
- Greek arakas (peas) with sun-dried tomatoes and peppers
- Aromatic vegan lentil soup
In addition, in our article “Vegan wraps in 5 minutes! - The 3 materials you must have"“… you guessed it right! One ingredient is sun-dried tomatoes as, not only are they vegan, but they also great for unique vegan wraps along with tahini-lemon sauce and any other vegetables we use in salads. And of course, we can use sun-dried tomatoes to make wonderful sandwiches and delicious baguettes.
By making our own sun-dried tomatoes, not only are we more autonomous, but we have the ability to use the purest ingredients and avoid aggravating factors such as preservatives and flavor enhancers that canned sun-dried tomatoes may contain.
Homemade sun-dried tomatoes are misunderstood as it is generally believed that their preparation is complicated, when in fact they require only a minimum of our time. We only wash them, cut them and spread them on racks. When dried we simply put them in jars. Ok, maybe we do something extra, like adding olive oil and herbs... But again, it's a relatively simple process and the result more than rewarding!
It is also important to know that we can make them without salt. That is, it is not necessary for anyone who avoids salt to necessarily avoid sun-dried tomatoes. Even without salt, they are wonderful and incredibly delicious, as they get their aroma both from the tomatoes themselves and from the pepper, bay leaf, garlic, thyme and oregano, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Try our homemade sun-dried tomatoes, with or without salt, and we are waiting for your comments!
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Easy homemade sun-dried tomatoes (also made unsalted)
- 3,5 kilos tomatoes preferably plum tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic sliced
- 1 cup olive oil or until the jar is full
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 corns black pepper
- 1 tsp thyme and / or oregano or 1 fresh sprig
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar or red or apple cider vinegar
- salt (optional)
Homemade sun-dried tomatoes (with salt or unsalted)
- Wash the tomatoes, remove the stem and finally cut them. If you are using plum tomatoes, cut them in half (lengthwise) and the rest into quarters. Remove the seeds (if you want, keep them to make tomato sauce).
- Put an oven tray on your counter and place a cleanoven rack on top. There place your tomatoes one by one with the flesh (the inner part) down, to drain the excess liquid. After 5 minutes, turn them upside down (with the inner part facing up) and salt them (you can avoid salt completely and make them unsalted, which turn out delicious as they have the aroma of garlic, thyme, oregano , bay leaf, pepper, olive oil, vinegar and of course from the tomato itself).
- Sun-dried tomatoes will be ready in two steps: drying and storage / preservation.
- Drying can be done either in the sun or in the oven.
- The drier and harder you want them to be, the more you let them dry. With less time (in the sun or in the oven), sun-dried tomatoes will retain some flesh, they will be softer and juicier and will give a feeling of freshness.
Dry your homemade sun-dried tomatoes under the sun or in the oven
- To dry them under the sun, you need to have strong sun all day, so the summer months are the perfect time.
- In this case put them in a place where there is sun all day and cover them with tulle that you will fasten to the rack with pegs. For example, if you have two balconies, one facing the sun in the morning and the other in the afternoon, you will change positions so that the sun sees them constantly.
- When the sun goes down put them inside the house so that they do not absorb moisture, unless it is very hot at night.
- Follow this procedure for a few days (3-7 depending on how dried you want them). It is important that the tomatoes do not retain any moisture so that they do not mold later on.
- Preheat the oven to 70°C/158°F and place the racks with the tomatoes for 5-6 hours or until dry as desired. Again, it is important that the tomatoes do not retain any moisture so that they do not mold later.
Sterilization of jars
- In order to preserve your homemade sun-dried tomatoes for a longer period of time, you need to store them in an airtight glass jar with a metal lid which you will first sterilize.
Remove any labels from the jar and the lid (soaking them in hot water) and then wash them well. Then sterilize them in one of the following ways, putting them:
- In the oven at 100°C/212°F (in fan mode) for 20 minutes. Make sure they are dry before putting them in the oven.
- In a pot (in boiling water) for 15 minutes. Make sure they are completely covered with water.
- In a dishwasher, where you simply wash them at high temperature.
- In the microwave for one minute (pay attention to the oven instructions on what materials you can put in safely). Make sure they are dry before putting them in the oven. If in doubt, it is safer to sterilize the lid in boiling water (for 15 minutes).
- In all the above cases, pay attention to materials that are not glass. For example, if the lid has rubber or is plastic, it can melt or deteriorate, if it is metal, it should not be placed in the microwave and so on.
- Once they are sterilized, grab them with tongs, so you don't get burnt, and put them with the opening facing down on a clean towel.
- In case you sterilize them by boiling, leave them to dry completely before filling them.
Storage / Maintenance
Fill your jar with the sun-dried tomatoes, adding all the other ingredients. Ideally, every few tomatoes you add, add a few of the other ingredients (garlic, thyme or oregano, pepper and bay leaf). Finally, add the balsamic vinegar to your jar and then the olive oil until it is full (if possible try not to leave air in). You achieve this by pressing the lid in the center while you fasten it. They can be consumed immediately, but the longer they stay in the jar, the more the flavors come together, the tomatoes absorb the aromas and they become tastier. If you have patience, in a week they will be perfect! Keep them in a closed jar, in a cupboard or other shady place (if you salt them) or in the fridge if you make them unsalted. Make sure the sun-dried tomatoes are completely covered by the olive oil.
Serve them plain as an appetizer. It's a great snack along with beer, tsipouro or ouzo. Alternatively, use them in various vegan recipes to give aroma and wonderful flavor. As we do in our various vegan recipes, such asour vegan cheese with cashews and sun-dried tomatoes, vegan mushroom no-meat balls, Greek green beans with sun-dried tomatoes, Greek arakas (peas) with sun-dried tomatoes and peppers, large lima beans (gigantes) and aromatic vegan lentil soup.
- As the tomatoes is the main ingredient, choose the most delicious, ripe and aromatic tomatoes.
- If you want your sun-dried tomatoes spicier you can also put a small hot pepper (fresh or dried) in your jar.
- In addition you can add more aroma adding ingredients such as capers, thyme or coriander seeds.
- When the sun-dried tomatoes are done, do not throw away their oil! It is perfect for salads, bruschettas or any other vegan recipe that stands out with the flavored olive oil such as sauce for pasta, Greek green beans, Greek arakas (peas) with sun-dried tomatoes and peppers, large lima beans (gigantes), spaghetti aglio e olio etc.