You can add a small fresh chilli to each jar if you like your oven-dried tomatoes spicy. Egg tomatoes are perfect for this recipe as they don't have many seeds, but you can use any variety just make sure you choose ripe unblemished tomatoes.
1.Place the sage, garlic and tomatoes, cut side up, on wire racks over oven trays. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt. Bake at 100-120°C (or 80-100°C fan-forced) for about 20 minutes or until sage is dry and brittle. Remove sage from the rack.
2.Bake for a further 20 minutes or until the garlic is dry; remove garlic from the rack. Bake tomatoes for a further 8 to 12 hours or until they are dry and leathery.
3.Turn and rearrange tomatoes and the oven trays frequently while drying. It is important for the preservation of dried tomatoes that they be dried thoroughly and evenly. Garlic and herbs must be dried until they are crisp and brittle.
4.If using olive oil, pack the tomatoes, sage and garlic into clean jars and pour in enough olive oil to cover the tomatoes completely. Seal the jars. Oven-dried tomatoes can be eaten at once but improve after about three weeks. Store them in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Tomatoes can be dried over 2 days, if necessary. Turn the oven off, cool the tomatoes and cover them. Continue drying the following day. To avoid food poisoning, the herbs and garlic must be completely dried. If the tomatoes have been dried correctly, no mould should develop. Commonly known as “sun-dried” tomatoes, these can be kept with or without oil. Olive oil will become cloudy or solidify when refrigerated and will liquefy again at room temperature. If you wish to avoid this, choose another vegetable oil. The dried tomatoes can be used on pizzas and tarts, on bruschetta, in salads, antipasto and in pasta dishes. To use the tomatoes stored in oil, drain them and pat dry on absorbent paper. The oil can be used in salad dressings or cooking. To rehydrate dried tomatoes not stored in oil, pour boiling water over them and stand for about 5 minutes, then drain.