Oven Dried Tomatoes with Sumac

Ready for the Oven

I was at the Farmer’s Market again this week, doing a mid-month shop to see what I could dry, make into jam, preserves or somehow put into bottles. I love the market a lot. It is quite new in Adelaide – we are such a slow town – and of course there is only one and that is why we can refer to it as the Farmer’s Market. It is very popular, and characterised by long queues at the more popular stalls. I found some home grown cherry tomatoes for next to nothing, so bought a smallish bag. Yum, some oven roasted tomatoes for me, I thought.The next morning, into the oven they went. Out of the oven they came. Into the mouth of my Office Assistant they went. Into the mouth of my friend they went. A couple here, a couple there. Next I looked, there was hardly enough left for a small bowl of pasta. Sigh.

A Tomato Love

Drying or Roasting Tomatoes in the Oven

This is quite an easy dish to bake. It just takes time – a very slow oven and a few hours to spare. It is best done on a Sunday afternoon, or a cold evening. The results are very yummy. The drying of the tomatoes intensifies their flavour, and you end up with a burst of ruby red goodness in your mouth. Intense.

The time it takes to cook depends on the size of the tomato – obviously bigger tomatoes take longer to cook. It also depends on the stage at which you want to stop the baking.

Sometimes I leave them still quite “wet” – a little cooked, not very dry. This takes about 1 – 1.5 hours.

Sometimes I like them half dried. This takes about 2 hours for cherry tomatoes.

And sometimes I like them quite dry, like plump dried apricots. This takes 2.5 – 3 hours for cherry tomatoes and longer for larger fruit.


Sumac is a Middle Eastern spice – quite tart and quite yummy. It is black in colour. Fresh and tangy, it comes from the berries of a wild bush that grows wild in all Mediterranean areas, especially in Sicily and southern Italy, and parts of the Middle East, especially Iran. It is an essential ingredient in Arabic cooking, being preferred to lemon for sourness and astringency.

You only need a little and it is fabulous with tomatoes and avocados. It can also be mixed with yoghurt and fresh herbs and served as a dipping sauce or side dish. It is good dusted over feta cheese or added to a salad. Stir it through olive oil and serve with crusty bread.

You can read more about sumac here.

For this recipe, if you can’t find sumac, then I suggest a small amount of finely grated lemon rind instead. But you can also leave it out – the result is different but still very very yummy.

Using Dried Tomatoes

** Throw them in everything – pasta dishes, salads, antipasto, ….
** In pies and tarts.
** Pair them with caramelised onions.
** Eat on their own. Snack on them. Put them in the lunch box.
** Cover the dried ones with oil and keep in the fridge. When the tomatoes are gone, use the tomato flavoured oil in salad dressings.

However, I dare you to have them last more than a day!

Before the tomatoes go into the oven

Ready for the Oven

In the oven – about 1 hour into the cooking time

In the oven

After 2 – 2.5 hours cooking and ready to eat.


Oven Dried Tomatoes

Source: Adapted from the SBS originally. From the old Food Matters site.
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 2 – 4 hours

cherry tomatoes or smaller round or oval tomatoes
Sea salt, Celtic if you can get it
Freshly ground black pepper
Sumac – a Middle Eastern Spice available from providores and sometimes Asian/Indian shops

Cooked! optional extras
garlic, diced really fine
a bay leaf or two
a very small drizzle of really good virgin olive oil
a small amount of very finely grated lemon peel, if not using Sumac

Split the tomatoes lengthwise and place skin side down in a single layer on a baking slide lined with baking paper, or in a low sided dish.

Evenly scatter the sumac, salt, pepper and sugar over the cut surfaces. Adjust the amount of sugar according to the tartness of the tomatoes. In late summer, early autumn, tomatoes are at their best so will need less sugar. Early in the season they will need more.

Add any optional extras, sprinkling over the surface.

Place in a low (100 – 120C) oven for two to four hours until the tomatoes have dried a little and have lightly caramelised. They should look like very plump dried apricots. Cool, cover and refrigerate until needed.

Play. Enjoy. Eat.



From The Tomatoes Series



About Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.
This entry was posted in 10 Mid Spring, Preserves, Spices and Herbs, Sunday Afternoon at Home Cooking, Tomatoes, VEGETARIAN and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to Oven Dried Tomatoes with Sumac

  1. shivapriya says:

    Hi Vegeyum
    I’m so glad you stopped by my site. Those oven dried tomatoes looks delicious. I have never tired roasting tomatoes in oven. I should try sometime. Your step by step pictures and instructions make it very easy to understand. You have a wonderful site, thanks again for dropping by and penning your precious comments. I will add u to my blogroll.


  2. shivapriya says:

    Also want to say thank q so much for adding in ur friends list.


  3. VegeYum says:

    Hi ShivaPriya – I think your name is so beautiful. Glad you liked my tomatoes. I hope you try them one day. Let me know if you do. So easy, the only thing you need is time.

    Thank you for adding me to your blogroll. I look forward to lots of visits to your site and your great recipes. … VY


  4. Puspha says:

    Gorgeous!!! Thanx for sharing.


  5. VegeYum says:

    Hay Puspha, glad you could visit. Thanks for your lovely comments. I really appreciate them. … VY


  6. Kimberley says:

    This is an absolutely luscious blog! Thanks for stopping by my blog to offer encouragement. It is much appreciated. Now I need to explore your blog a bit more – so delicious.


  7. Pravs says:

    Those dried tomatoes looks so good. Have to try this…feel like popping one into the mouth :)
    Thanks for stopping by…and letting me discover your lovely blog.


  8. Kalyn says:

    What a great post! The tomatoes look wonderful. I’ve made roasted tomatoes many times, but never thought of seasoning them with sumac, which I love the flavor of! Thanks for the great idea.


  9. bee says:

    Great idea with sumac…lovely post and pix. Will try it next time. Just cooked down a batch of tomatoes (last of the season in our garden) today. –Jai


  10. lakshmi says:

    dried tomatoes look soooooooooooooo gorgeous – what a mouthwatering recipe – can’t wait to try this – passing it on to my mother right away.


  11. viji says:

    They are so cute. Viji


  12. Helene says:

    Thanks for sharing, I once did dried tomatoes and your photos inspired me to do them straight away. Today is farmers´market!! Lucky me! :)


  13. VegeYum says:

    Hi Kimberley, I love your blog. Thanks for visiting my site and saying hello.

    Hi Pravs, I really appreciate that you helped me out with Poha. I know exactly what it is now, and I cook it with potato, onion and coriander. I love it a real lot. Last time I cooked it was in London when (amberjee) had her baby. Had to search town to find an Indian food shop for the ingredients, but finally managed to locate one. Everyone loved it.

    Kayln, I am so pleased that you dropped by. How lovely to combine two great tastes, tomato and sumac.

    Bee, let me know how they turn out. I have just seen your photos of a pomegranate. Outstanding! I can just taste it. Really.

    Lakshmi, thank you for your kind comments. I know that you will enjoy them a lot. Love your posts of the Saraswati puja. They made me miss India a lot.

    Thanks, Viji. I love your blog too.

    Hello Helene – have a great time at the markets. Glad that I was able to add some inspiration. It makes my day. Thank you.

    And again, thank you to everyone for visiting my blog. Eat and enjoy. VY


  14. Peter says:

    A wonderful post on tomatoes and I too roasted them alot this summer.

    Also, the site’s looking good, I’ll be back for more!


  15. bee says:

    sumac??? wow. i’ve stopped short of buying it. now i have a good reason. your pics make the humble tomato look glorious.


  16. sra says:

    Those pix are gorgeous!


  17. Beautiful post on tomatoes with gorgeous photo’s…how can one look at it and not have your mouth water!
    I also love your header…so original and your blog is a joy.


  18. VegeYum says:

    Hi Peter, bee, sra and Ronell,

    You are too kind with your comments – thank you so much for enjoying my photos, site and recipes. You all have great sites yourselves, and I get a lot of pleasure in exploring them.

    bee, yes try sumac. Wonderful, sour, black powder. It is a great addition to the spice cupboard.

    Ronell, love your art. You are very talented. Thank you for noticing my header! From Borough Markets in London – my most favourite place there. How could it not be.

    sra, your site is great for learning more about Indian food. I had never seen fresh fenugreek leaves before. I wonder how I would get a plant here.

    Peter, I look forward to your next visit. Let me know if you ever try the turnip in the pumpkin/squash soup trick.



  19. Lucy says:

    Just beautiful! Hard to stop, I imagine, at just eating one or two…I’d have to be restrained I think!


  20. VegeYum says:

    Lucy, so nice to find another Australian food blogger. Thank you for your wonderful comments – yes, absolutely difficult to stop at one.

    Your site is just beautiful. I look forward to exploring it.



  21. It looks amazing!
    I can imagine how it taste… Margot


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  25. TBC says:

    Those pics are beautiful.
    Tomatoes have never looked this good before! :)


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  27. deeba says:

    YUM YUM…what a great idea. Looks like I have all ingredients except nice tomatoes. Will get some tomorrow.Am thrilled I have rosemary growing too. FAB!! Great pictures too!xo


  28. bg says:

    It is certainly interesting for me to read the post. Thanks for it. I like such themes and anything that is connected to this matter. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.

    Anete Swenson


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  32. treehugger74 says:

    Hi Vegeyum, I was wondering if you could tell me how long the completely dried tomatoes will keep, and also if they absolutely have to be refrigerated? I’m looking for ideas for taking delicious food on hiking trips, and I love the idea of the dried tomatoes and capsicum for adding to meals :)


    • Ganga108 says:

      Hi, Thanks for your question. Dried capsicum will be perfect for hiking trips. I am not so sure about the tomatoes as they retain some moisture. I would not chance it beyond 24 hours. You could try drying them until they are completely dry, though, and experiment with using them in cooking.

      I also have a food dehydrator, and it is excellent for drying almost any kind of vegetable. I still have a stack of dried zucchini slices from last summer that I must use up soon!

      You can also dry mashed lentil mixtures to take. They might be a bit crumbly tho, but would provide good protein. You can buy these at any Indian grocery (dried wadi) or make your own. I have a recipe on my site somewhere. Ah, here it is: https://vegeyum.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/mung-wadi-masala/


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