Oven Dried Cherry Tomatoes

Fueled by my desire to slim down and to look beyond cooking elaborate meals as a way to relieve stress, how I think about food has changed. My vegetable intake has increased dramatically. I’m eating far less bread and pasta than ever before. Salads, especially for lunch, are now the star attraction rather than something that’s ordered on the side.

The hardest part about buying whole fruits and vegetables is consuming them before they spoil. A majority of the time, I am cooking for one. There are days when it’s physically impossible to stuff one more vegetable into my meals.

When I found myself with an overabundance of cherry tomatoes, I decided to try my hand at slow roasting them. As the excess water evaporates, they shrivel down to half the size. The flavors are much more concentrated and they become sweeter. They are perfect tossed with whole-wheat pasta, peas and pesto. Sometimes I would just stand with the fridge door open and eat them like candy.

Oven Dried Cherry Tomatoes

Oven Dried Cherry Tomatoes

At least a pint of cherry tomatoes, the fresher the better
1-2 Tbl. olive oil

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Remove the stems, if present, and slice each tomato in half. Line a half sheet pan with foil or parchment paper. Lightly brush the foil with olive oil. Spread the tomatoes in a single layer with the cut side facing up.

Bake at 225 degrees for approximately three hours. The tomatoes should be shriveled and dry, but not crispy. This could take more or less time depending on your oven. Avoid opening the oven door for at least 2 ½ hours. Otherwise, the roasting process will take longer.

Once the roasting is complete, they can be used right away or cooled and stored in the fridge.