Okay, time for a confession: we both really dislike raw tomato. We love salsa, bruschetta, tomato sauce, ketchup, soup, etc… but biting into a raw tomato makes us gag. So what are we going to do with all the cherry tomatoes on the plants we inherited? The ones that we’ve been putting so much time and energy into tending?
Cherry tomatoes aren’t the best for sauces and pastes, or anything where you want to remove the skin. We decided to try dehydrating and fermenting them. This post is about the former. I’ve included a little how-to at the bottom, but the process is pretty self explanatory.
Our air fryer has a dehydration option. I imagine we will eventually want to either buy a purpose built dehydrator or build a solar dehydrator, but this has worked okay for us so far. The main things needed for dehydration are a low heat to evaporate the water, and air flow to move the moist air away from the food. The air fryer does a good enough job at both. I have no idea about the energy efficiency, but I imagine this is a much better option than using the whole oven.
The end result was delicious, richly flavored little nuggets of tomato goodness. I seasoned the tomatoes before dehydrating, so they are ready to go. I don’t have plans for them yet, so I decided to store them in olive oil to protect them from air. As we harvest more of them, I will continue to add to the jar, and top up the oil as needed. The oil will also take on the flavor of the tomatoes and can be used in dressings once the tomatoes are all eaten.
We aren’t going to plant many (if any!) cherry tomatoes in our garden next year, but I’m glad we are able to find a tasty use for the ones we do have.
Dehydrated Cherry Tomatoes in Olive Oil
- Dehydrator or oven with low heat settings
- Dehydrator tray, or over safe mesh tray
- Cutting board
- Glass jar with lid for storage
- Cherry tomatoes
- Olive oil
Prepare the tomatoes
- Wash cherry tomatoes
- Cut in half from the top to bottom and spread out on dehydration tray, or other mesh type tray which will allow air flow
- Sprinkle tomatoes with a generous amount of salt
- Dehydrate tomatoes according to your dehydrators instructions, or at 150 °F for 10 hours. Tomatoes will have shrunk and feel dry when they are done.
- Place dehydrated tomatoes in a glass jar and cover with olive oil. Store in the fridge.