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Feb 10, 2010 08:02 AM

How to Rehydrate Sun-Dried Tomatoes with Oil?

Hi there,
Yesterday we made a recipe from Bon Appetit's cookbook, it was chicken in a sun dried tomato cream sauce. OMG was it delicious!!

The recipe called for sun dried tomatoes in oil, a small jar cost around $5 and the oil is almost gone, so I have a couple questions I was hoping someone could me with..

Can I just add olive oil to the jar that I purchased (still has tomatoes, oil is just running low) and will it have a similar flavor, I am guessing yes since they are just basting or what have you together?

But most importantly prior to this recipe I had bought a container from the fruit market of sun dried tomatoes without oil. I was wondering if it were possible and how long a process it is to turn these little rubbery dry tomatoes in with an oil mixture. I assume you could just put them in a jar with olive oil and some herbs and put it in the refridgerater? Is this possible? Do they need to sit for a month or so for really good flavor? Are there any bacteria problems with this? Would I need to do some kind of canning process?

lol I am so sorry for all the questions but I would love to cook with just the oil in the future and $5 a jar is kind of pricey for me at least. Any suggestions or help I would greatly appreciate! Thanks a bunch!

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  1. I rehydrate the sundried tomatoes in water first and then put them in the oil. This can sit at room temperature for a few hours and then put in the refrigerator but I wouldn't do it for over a couple of days because of possible bacterial problems as you said. If you want the oil to pick up the flavor of the tomatoes, just heat gently.

    1. If what you want is a sundried tomato flavoured oil, why not purée the tomatoes with oil in a food processor or blender and then strain the solids. Don't know how that might work, but it's probably the most effective way of flavouring the oil.

      1. Year before last, my son gave me a bottle of sun dried tomato olive oil that he steeped himself..he used dehydrated sun dried tomatoes and soaked them in oil for about a month (in the fridge) then strained them out. He gave me the tomatoes in a separate jar covered with a small amount of oil & the strained oil in a wine bottle with a cork....I still have some of that oil...

        You can add more oil to your tomatoes or if you want to make your own, just get the dehydrated tomatoes and cover with oil..they will re-hydrate but it will take a while.

        1. I make my own oil packed sun-dried tomatoes every year from my garden tomatoes. You can use the ones you bought that are already dried. The way I do it is to dip the dried tomatoes briefly in white vinegar. Pack in jars with sprigs of fresh basil and garlic cloves. About 2 or 3 sprigs of basil and maybe 4 garlic cloves to a quart jar. Pack the dried tomatoes in firmly. Pour olive oil over and let sit for about six weeks for flavours to meld. I store these in the fridge or can. (Sorry, but I don't have the canning directions with me.) You can add fresh olive oil to the jar of tomatoes where the oil is running low. The oil won't be as strongly flavoured as the oil you've used, but the longer it sits, the more flavour it will absorb. If I use up all the tomatoes and have oil left over, I strain it and store it in the fridge until it is used up.

          2 Replies
          1. re: decolady

            It's worth mentioning that in food safety circles, storing garlic in oil is considered an invitation to botulism.

            1. re: greygarious

              That is true about botulism and garlic as a low acid food. I was told this preservation method was OK because of the added vinegar. But perhaps it is not. And what about after they are canned in the pressure canner? Now I'm wondering if they are not safe to store in the refrigerator once a jar has been opened. I think I will get in touch with my local extension office about that.

              In the meanwhile, I will leave out the garlic and suggest anyone else do the same.