Growing and harvesting tomatoes

Growing and harvesting tomatoes

This is a blog post on growing harvesting tomatoes. After growing my own food I just now realize that I have got round to write much about growing basic vegetables and fruit. The day to day staple which seems to be very much now what everybody is trying to achieve. Staples that are easy to … Read more

Runner bean tomato salad (spicy) recipe

Here is a blog post on runner bean and tomato spicy salad. It’s a great way use current harvest from the garden kitchen. To grow and harvest runner bean and tomatoes have a look at the links gere for my old blog posts. The runner bean for recipes are young and tender beans. If using … Read more

Tomato and egg soup

This is quick to cook soup. A great way to use up tomato at the end of season or even just to add an extra dish. If one gets an unexpected guest turning up. Therefore this recipe is about tomato and egg soup a classic chinese soup. The egg added to the soup adds texture, … Read more

Making sun dried tomatoes

It’s nearing to the end of tomato growing season. I have made sun dried tomatoes by using the oven. It’s too cold at the moment to dry the tomatoes in the sun as the temperature has plummeted recently to average daytime 20-16 deg cel here in London.

The process of making sun dried tomatoes is not as complicated as it sounds. All you need is to slice the tomatoes into half place them face up and dry them in the oven at 120 deg cel for 2-3 hours depending on the size of tomatoes. The smaller ones dry up much quicker in the oven than the bigger ones. If the sun is still warm around just leave them out in the hot sun for two days and bring them inside at night. It is as simple as that. Just make sure you do check on the tomatoes by 2 hours as you don’t want to burn them. They will turn into a rustic red, brownish hue. If it’s turn black colour then it’s burn.

It’s a bit like making Sweet potato crisp recipe where one also uses the oven. It’s a way to keep tomatoes longer. It will change to intense flavour as a result. If you like after cutting the tomatoes you can add some chopped garlic, oregano, ground black pepper and a bit of salt to flavour the sun dried tomatoes. Some recipes do recommend drizzling with some olive oil but I have sun dried them without. You can then put them in sterilised preserving jar (eg. like Kilner) and fill in up with olive oil. They can kept for up to 6 months. Mine just finishes within 1 week so I don’t put them in sterilised jars.

The varieties have used to sun dried tomatoes are San Manzano and Artisan bumble bee and they taste lovely. It just makes the flavours especially the artisan bumble bee tomatoes more intense compare to eating them raw. I have also tried oven drying the yellow sungold cherry tomatoes and they taste just as good as other varieties. Whatever variety or type of tomato you choose to sun/ oven dry do keep in mind that tomatoes do shrink a lot during the drying process.

sun dried tomatoes