More >

Dried Tomatoes

Dried tomatoes in olive oil have exquisite flavor, and what a gift to give yourself in the stillness of winter.  Plum or cherry tomatoes work best and the “putting up” should be done during gardening season when tomatoes are at peak flavor.  They store beautifully for months.  Use them diced as a sauce for pasta, in salads, and for antipasto. Makes 2 12-ounce jars


14 unblemished meaty plum tomatoes, washed and dried

3 cups red wine vinegar

Two 12-ounce jars and lids, sterilized

8 fresh basil leaves

3 tablespoons capers in salt, rinsed and diced

2 tablespoons black peppercorns

2 teaspoons fine sea salt

2 to 2 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil, as needed


Core and cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise.

Place the tomatoes cut side down in a dehydrator and dry according to the manufacturer’s directions.  Or place cut side down on wire racks set on baking sheets in a preheated 225°F oven.  Let dry until they have the texture of dried apricots.  This may take a day or longer, depending on the size of the tomatoes.

Pour the wine vinegar into a large nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil.  Add the tomatoes and blanch them for 1 minute.  Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and drain well.  The vinegar acts as a preservative and gives added flavor to the tomatoes.

Layer the tomatoes into the sterilized jars, adding half the basil, capers, peppercorns, and salt to each jar.

Slowly pour the olive oil into the jars, pressing down on the tomatoes slightly with a wooden spoon.  Make sure that the tomatoes are completely submerged under the oil at all times, or they will be exposed to air and potential bacteria growth.  Cap the jars tightly and place them in a cool spot overnight.  The next day, check the level of the oil and add more to the jars if the tomatoes are poking out of the oil.  Check the jars two or three more times, adding more oil if necessary.

Recap the jars and store them in a cool place for 6 weeks before using.  Refrigerate after opening and bring the tomatoes to room temperature before serving.

This recipe is from Mangia Pasta! by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company in 1998.


  1. caryl bay's avatar

    caryl bay

    i would like to have the recipe and also a recipe for roasted red peppers
  2. Julie Prieto's avatar

    Julie Prieto

    I would like to have you send me the recipe on dried tomatoes and also how to be able to can roasted red peppers please.

Leave a Comment

Looking for even more photos and recipes?
Order my latest book.

Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy

Mary Ann's newest book contains over 150 recipes, 60 gorgeous food photos, and many scenic pictures of Italy taken by Mary Ann on her travels through the years.

Order using this link and receive a signed book plate.

Available now!