Pack Homemade Sun-Dried Tomatoes In Olive Oil For Endless Uses

The clocks have turned back, the air has gone cold, and it is officially time to collect the last of your summer tomatoes. If you are lucky, your final crop should yield more than anyone can eat at once, meaning you will have to preserve some — possibly by sun-drying them. If you choose to do so, be sure to also consider how you plan to store the tomatoes once dried. We recommend packing your sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil to retain the best possible flavor and texture.

Storing sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil is a process that goes one step beyond other preservation processes to obtain even more convenient and delectable results. Whereas other storage options involve simply tucking the fully dried tomatoes in a cool, dry space, packing them in this way involves rehydrating the tomatoes ever so slightly before placing them in a jar with your favorite oil. This approach has numerous benefits. Above all, oil-packed tomatoes are ultra-convenient. Since they are already reconstituted, these tomatoes can be eaten or cooked right out of the jar with no extra steps. Additionally, the dried tomatoes will absorb some of the olive oil that they are sitting in, making them juicy and tender and giving them even more flavor. If you add spices or flavors to the oil, the tomatoes will take these on as well, meaning you can customize them to your heart's content.

How to store and use oil-packed tomatoes

Sun-dried tomatoes that are stored in olive oil can last quite a long time. If the jar is properly sealed and stored in a cool, dark place it will last for up to a year as opposed to nine months for those stored without oil. If you are not confident that you have fully sanitized and sealed the jar in which you are storing the tomatoes, however, it is best to keep them in the fridge to avoid rancid oil or mold growth. Unsealed tomatoes, or sealed tomatoes that have since been opened, will last for about three months in the fridge.

These luscious umami bombs can be used in a wide variety of ways thanks to their versatile flavor and texture. Keep it simple by layering a few tomatoes onto some ciabatta along with mozzarella and basil for a wintry take on a Caprese sandwich. Blend them into your classic tomato soup or marinara recipe for an even more intense taste, or elevate your Italian meatballs by folding chopped tomatoes into the mixture. Don't be afraid to use the leftover oil, either; it makes a great finisher for a freshly fired pizza or a green salad.