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Nov 7, 2010 04:52 AM

When oven-roasting/drying cherry tomatoes, what am I going for?

And how long do they keep? I read some threads on CH yesterday because I have a ton of the end of season Sungold tomatoes and I want to preserve them, so I thought I'd try roasting them. I read this on another chain: "Roast them. Alot of them. I wash, dry, cut in half and then spread in a layer on a heavy duty foil lined cookie sheet that I spray with (gasp!) Pam, and roast them low, about 220 degrees or so for awhile...there is never any real time, just until they are caramelized, a little dehydrated and damn tasty."

My question is, how dry should they be when they're done? Mine are still juicy -- fantastic flavor, but still very moist and plump (though definitely shriveled). I'm guessing they don't actually keep very long this way though, right?

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  1. Yes, if they are still juicy, they won't keep very long. That's how I made them for my Canadian meal (see below)... but if you want them to dry out more, you just need to keep going until they are leathery. Your oven temp sounds ok for accomplishing this, but if you went even lower and slower, you'd probably be happier with your results. When I made fruit leather I had to put the oven on 175 (my knob only goes down to 200, but when I put it right below 200, it still came on)

    Are they like the photo below? This is more of a roasted tomato side dish. What's cool is that you can eat a lot more of them in one sitting. Like a cup or two :)

    2 Replies
    1. re: GlobalTable

      Yes, they are exactly like that - and the flavor is amazing! i guess if I want to keep them for longer storage I could dig out the food dehydrator. But those of you who have dehydrated cherry tomatoes -- do you rehydrate them to use them or do you just eat them as a snack in the dried form?

      1. re: BeckyAndTheBeanstock

        I use them in sandwiches for work, snip them onto the mayo (or whatever is wet, mustard etc.)
        A few hours later they are soft and meld into the sandwich. If you want to eat the sandwich right then, I moisten them a tiny bit and nuke for a few secs. I also snip them into pots of beans, and anything that likes tomatoes. So much tastier than canned or grocery store tomatoes.

    2. If you want to preserve tomatoes of any size you need to dry, not roast them. You can do it in the oven, but set the temp as low as possible, and leave the oven door slightly ajar so the moisture can escape (especially important if you have a gas oven). And slice the tomatoes in half (lots of work for cherries, but worth it). Use a baking sheet with a drying rack if you have one. If you don't have a rack, stir or toss the tomatoes every hour. You want them flexible, not rock hard. If you squeeze one and get tomato paste on your fingers, they need more drying. If they crunch when you bite them, you went too far, but if you didn't char them, they will taste fine in cooked dishes or in a salad if you give them a spritz an hour or so before serving.

      ps - Sungold is an excellent tomato. If you don't overcook them when drying, they taste almost like dried cranberries.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Zeldog

        About cutting them in half - I once saw Rachel Ray cut a whole handful at once by sandwiching them between two plastic lids (like the kind on deli counter containers). She pressed lightly with her hand and then sliced them in half ... I've never tried it but would think it would work well - as long as you fill it completely with tomatoes (otherwise they might roll around).

      2. When I oven-dry my tomatoes, I store them in the freezer - just to be on the safe side. I just shove them a gallon freezer bag.

        Mine aren't completely dehydrated either - they're a little more juicy then leather-consistency.

        I leave my romas in the low oven for 8-10 hours - here are some pictures before & after:


        1. They don't keep very long this way... but they are delicious. I usually roast grape tomatoes whole.. don't see a difference in cutting them.