Sundried tomatoes are a common ingredient in Italian cuisine. Italians originally dried tomatoes on their ceramic rooftops. And it’s thought that the technique may even date as far back 700 AD when Aztecs would salt and dry tomatoes in the sun to preserve their freshness (source). Whoever came up with the brilliant idea, we’re grateful!
Pasta salads are usually served chilled or at room temperature. They can be prepared with one or more types of noodles, a variety of vegetables, herbs, some intense flavor accents, and a dressing that’s either creamy with mayonnaise, or a vinaigrette.
Every summer you buy whole packs of them, or your friends give you some after their summer trips. But how many of you know how to use sundried tomatoes in cooking?
You certainly already know how to serve them for a Spartan aperitif. But in reality, sundried tomatoes are a lot more versatile than you might think. Here we give you some ideas, cooking tips, and recipes to use in every circumstance, from pesto to salads to broth.
Here are the answers to all the questions you have about sundried tomatoes.
How To Rehydrate Sundried Tomatoes?
Before using them in preparations, sundried tomatoes should be soaked in water, in order to rehydrate them and remove the salt that was used to preserve them. Rinse them well under running water then put them in a saucepan of cold water with a little vinegar. Bring to a boil and remove the pan from the heat. You will then have to wait for them to rehydrate. If you have little time, do the same but in the microwave. After soaking them, you can use the dried tomatoes in cooking.
What Are The Differences Between Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Candied Tomatoes?
The dried tomato is the raw ingredient. To be used in cooking, it is possible to confine them in oil. This process allows them to be preserved and they are therefore always ready to be used. When your tomatoes are rehydrated, arrange them next to each other on layers of paper towels and dry them for two hours, turning them occasionally. Then put them in a jar with garlic and chilli and pour in oil to completely cover the tomatoes.
How To Store Dried Tomatoes Without Oil?
To keep sundried tomatoes oil-free, you need to make sure they are well dehydrated. Indeed, the slightest presence of humidity would lead to the appearance of mold. And be sure to store them in an airtight box or paper wrapper in a cool, dry place away from light.
The last little tip
You don’t have sun-dried tomatoes in your kitchen, but lots of tomatoes in the garden. How about making your own sundried tomatoes? It’s simple. Boil them to blanch them, then cut them to place them on a baking sheet. Dry in the oven for 2 hours at 100 °. A technique worthy of a great chef!
Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Sundried Tomatoes
This Pasta Salad is made with fresh mozzarella, basil, and deliciously juicy sun-dried tomatoes, then covered in a homemade herb dressing. Drizzle with a balsamic reduction and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese for an amazing salad that will become your new favorite!
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water.
Meanwhile, cut the sun-dried tomatoes into pieces.
In a large bowl, combine pasta, fresh mozzarella, basil, capers, black olives, and sun-dried tomatoes with a small amount of oil from the jar. Save whatever oil is left in the jar to moisten the pasta salad later.
In a small bowl, whisk together 2 teaspoons of Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, dried basil, and pepper to taste. Pour over the pasta and stir everything gently to coat. Cover the salad and place it in the refrigerator to chill.