Got a dehydrator and some tomatoes? Make these marinated dehydrated tomatoes! They are easy, delicious, and so satisfying come winter.
The first summer I had a dehydrator, I dried everything I could get my hands on. I did peaches, apples, herbs, citrus, tons of fruit leather and buckets of small tomatoes. I kept that round unit running for days at a time, and found that I missed its constant drone when it was finally unplugged and put away.
Since that first heady season, I’ve narrowed down the things I regularly dehydrate. It is still one of my favorite methods of food preservation, I just have learned more about which dehydrated things that work best in my kitchen and have stopped doing the ones that I didn’t manage to use up as well.
Top on my must-dry list each year are tomatoes. I do them a couple of different ways. I always do two or three dehydrator loads of small tomatoes like grape and sungold to use in salads throughout the year. And I always (ALWAYS) make some marinated and dried tomatoes.
I first learned this trick years back from Kristina McLean’s blog Mouth From the South. She is an avowed tomato lover and takes the growing and preserving of tomatoes very seriously. So the first time I made them, I knew they’d be good. I just didn’t realize quite how life-changing.
If you have a dehydrator, these marinated dehydrated tomatoes are incredibly easy to make. You slice up about five or six pounds of tomatoes and heap them in a bowl. Then you puree together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh parsley, rosemary, garlic, salt, red chili flakes, black pepper, and the juice and zest of a lemon.
Once the marinade is smooth, you pour it over the tomatoes. Using your hands, gently give it all a good stir and then let it sit. Because I rarely have enough space in my fridge, I only marinate for a couple of hours. You could also cover the bowl and tuck it in the refrigerator overnight if you’ve got more cold storage than I do.
Then you arrange the marinated tomatoes on your dehydrator trays, stack them up, and set it to 135 degrees F. I typically slice my tomatoes so that they’re a little more than 1/2 inch thick and they take about 18 hours like that. If you cut yours thicker, give them more time.
These days, I’m using the new Excalibur stackable dehydrator that I wrote about here. I particularly love the fact that it comes with the mesh screens that make it easier to remove the finished tomatoes (because they stick like crazy).
When the tomatoes are dry and chewy, they’re done. Then it’s just a matter of pulling them off the trays, heaping them in zip top bags, and stash those bags in the fridge or freezer (thanks to the oil, they really need the cold storage).
I often eat a few while thinking about what to make for dinner. They’re nice as a garnish on a bowl of soup or a grain salad. And for fancy times, I like to chop them and fold them into softened butter for tasty bread.
- 5 pounds tomatoes
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
- 1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Slice your tomatoes into sections that are about 1/2 inch thick and put them in a large bowl.
- Combine the olive oil, vinegar, parsley, rosemary, garlic cloves, salt, chili flakes, black pepper, and lemon zest and juice into a blender container and puree.
- Pour the marinade over the tomatoes and let them sit for at least an hour or two.
- When you're ready to start the dehydration process, arrange the tomatoes on the trays of your dehydrator. Set it to 135 degrees F and run for 18 to 24 hours, until the tomatoes are well-dried.
- When they're done, pull the finished tomatoes off the trays and place them into zip top bags.
- Keep in the fridge for 2-3 months or in the freezer for 6-8 months.