Oven Dried Tomatoes with Sumac

These are quite easy to make. It just takes time – a very slow oven and a few hours.

Semi Dried Tomatoes with Sumac

I have a love of two things – Farmer’s Markets and making pickles, preserves, pastes, purees and dried things. I love to turn fresh ingredients that will preserve them in some way. This recipe is perfect for perfect little cherry or grape tomatoes. It oven dries them in a very slow oven to make a great intensely flavoured snack, or ingredient for pasta sauces and salads.

The first time I made these little beauties, my Office Assistant and friend ate the whole batch! They are very more-ish.

You might also like to try Haloumi Pizza with Semi Dried Tomatoes, Tomato Tarte Tartin, and Semi Dried Tomatoes with Pomegranate. You can browse all of our oven dried tomato recipes here. Or have a look at our Tomato Recipes here.

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

Semi Dried Tomatoes with Sumac

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.

You have a choice about the level of drying:

  • leave them still quite “wet” – a little cooked, not very dry. This takes about 1 – 1.5 hours. The tomatoes must be used within a week of cooking.
  • remove them from the oven when half dried. This takes about 2 hours for cherry tomatoes.
  • leave them until they are quite dry, like plump dried apricots. This takes 2.5 – 3 hours for cherry tomatoes and longer for larger fruit. These tomatoes will last longer in the fridge.

The recipe uses sumac, a Middle Eastern spice – quite tart and quite yummy, and black-red 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 works well with tomatoes. 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 a little different but still very very good.

File 13-08-2016, 12 04 35

How to Use 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.

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

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 2 – 4 hours

cherry tomatoes or smaller round or oval tomatoes
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

optional extras
garlic, diced really fine
a bay leaf or two
a very small drizzle of really good virgin olive oil

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 (100C – 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.



28 thoughts on “Oven Dried Tomatoes with Sumac”

  1. 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. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

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

  9. 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

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.


  13. 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.


  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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 🙂

    1. 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/

Welcome! I hope you are enjoying what you see here. Thank you so much for your comment and your thoughts.

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