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Sun Dried Tomatoes

3 lbs firm ripe Italian or plum tomatoes, (Roma)
1/2 teaspoon herb seasoning oregano, basil or any herb combination per tomato
2 cloves garlic chopped finely, or minced (2 to 3)
salt, optional
2 rosemary sprigs or, 1 T. dried opt
1 1/4 cups olive oil, approximately

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Choose tomatoes with even red color,
and without any green or black spots. Wash tomatoes, removing stem
ends. Slice lengthwise in half. Squeeze GENTLY to remove seeds.
Pat dry. Sprinkle with herbs, garlic, and salt to taste. Arrange
tomatoes in one layer,cut side up, on wire racks placed on a cookie
sheet. Bake for 3-5 hours or until dried.Watch carefully not to
over dry or they will be tough. Dry them just to the point that
all of the moisture is gone. As they darken, watch carefully, as
they are almost done and will burn quickly. Place tomatoes in a
1-1 1/2 pint jar with the rosemary sprigs and several peppercorn.
Cover with olive oil and seal airtight. To prevent molding loosely
pack.Let stand 1 1/2 months to fully develop flavor.Tomatoes will
stay fresh as long as oil stays fresh. Store in a cool place.
Makes 1 to 1 1/2 pints.

NOTE: I do them cut side up although I have seen recipes for cut-side
down. I like to see how they are faring. Also, the original
recipes called for garlic in the jar. They have now shown garlic
and oil mixtures to be dangerous So I chop up my garlic and put
on the tomatoes ahead of time.


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