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Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes are quite easy to make. The best tomatoes to use are Roma or San Marzano. They are more pulpy and have less seeds. Nevertheless, any variety of tomato will do. Simply cut the tomatoes in half, from top to bottom, and lay them peel side down on a drying rack. Sprinkle on any spices or herbs, such as salt, basil, parsley, or cilantro.

Allow the tomatoes to remain in the sun (covered with cheese-cloth to keep out the bugs) for several days, until the moisture has been removed. For sun-dried tomatoes like those that can be obtained in a market, catch them just before they become crisp. This process can be accelerated using a dehydrator. It is best to store these in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Using a vacuum sealer is an even better idea. If some olive oil is added during the drying process, it is even more important to refrigerate.

Sun-dried tomatoes can be used in a wide variety of ways, including salads and dips. Should the home drying process make the product crisp, do not worry, sun dried tomatoes (even crisp ones) work great added to soups, stews, and sauces. Try rehydrating the sun-dried tomatoes by soaking them in water for thirty minutes, or better yet, marinating for 24 hours in oil.

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