Tomates secos marinados or marinated dried tomatoes are fresh tomatoes that are dehydrated, preferably homemade, macerated in olive oil with fresh spices and garlic. One of the most perfect tapas you can imagine to accompany an infinite number of ingredients, such as Manchego cheese, for example.
Marinated dried tomatoes are one of the oldest and most exquisite preserves that can be made at home. Tomato plants are usually very generous during the warmest season and usually bestow a large production of tomatoes.
One of the techniques to preserve tomatoes, in addition to make them into tomato sauce, jam or even Italian passata, is to dry them, something that has traditionally been done in the sun. For best results, several parameters are important: warm and dry season (summer), no humidity, and a lot of patience.
The tomatoes must be thoroughly washed and dried, then cut in half and placed on racks arranged on trays to collect any juice that may ooze out during drying. They are salted with coarse salt and seasoned with spices, the most commonly used being basil, thyme and oregano.
The trays are placed in the sun until the tomatoes start to darken, when they must be collected to prevent humidity from rehydrating them. Often they are covered with a thin cloth to keep the insects away, though salt should be enough for the job. Be especially careful if the area is windy; leaves and branches are placed on the tomatoes to prevent them from blowing away.
The drying usually takes 5 days to 2 weeks depending on temperature and weather conditions. We have dried them out with a simple, fast and home process.
- 21oz (600 g) cherry tomatoes
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 1½ Tbsp dried oregano
- 1½ Tbsp dried rosemary
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Olive oil to cover
- Wash the cherry tomatoes with cold water and dry with kitchen paper.
- Cut in half lengthwise, salt lightly and sprinkle with oregano.
- Place in the trays of a food dehydrator and leave for 12 hours at 160ºF (70ºC).
- Place the tomatoes in a glass container with the spices, garlic and a pinch of salt.
- Cover with oil completely.
- Close the container and store it in the refrigerator. Let stand for 24-48 hours.
- Eat them at leisure.
Tips to get the most delicious tomates secos marinados:
- If you do not have a dehydrator, the tomatoes can be dried in the oven. Place them, cut in half, on a tray lined with baking parchment. Salt lightly, sprinkle with oregano and dry at 175ºF (80ºC) for 7-8 hours. At higher temperatures they would be cooked instead of dehydrated. Remember that they must be thoroughly dried. Then proceed in the same way as specified in the recipe.
- For making the marinated tomatoes cherry tomatoes can be used or, if you prefer, larger tomatoes. San Marzano type tomatoes are the best because they are less juicy and more meaty, but you can use the variety you prefer.
- We recommend that you always use olive oil to macerate the tomatoes. It will taste better than any other variety of oil.
- The spices are totally up to you, you can use the ones recommended here or others that suit your taste.
- If the dried tomatoes are not stored in olive oil, they should be rehydrated before consumption. Soak them in warm water until they swell lightly, about 1 hour. Drain well, pat them dry with kitchen paper and they’ll be ready for use.
- Dried tomatoes, not macerated or hydrated, can be ground and used as if they were a spice. It will bring an intense and magnificent flavor to our avocados, for example.
- They can be kept for 1 month in the refrigerator or, if we sterilize the jars in a bain-marie, for many months.
These tomates secos marinados or marinated dried tomatoes are perfect to accompany a good cheese or Serrano ham, dress a salad…. But without forgetting a great bread and a fine glass of wine. Enjoy your meal!