sun dried tomatoes
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Sun-dried tomatoes, either in olive oil, seasoned, or plain, add a gourmet touch and great flavour to many dishes and salads. Sun-dried tomatoes are fresh and ripe tomatoes, which are made to lose most of their water content by treating them with salt and then placing under the sun for more than 4-5 days.They are shrivelled, chewy and have a darker colour than the original red tomatoes. They are a flavourful addition to many dishes.
They can be made at home by washing them well first, slicing, treating them with salt or any other seasoning like oregano or parsley and then placing them on a rack under the sun for 4-10 days till they get totally dried.Any variety of tomatoes can be used like cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes or normal-sized tomatoes. Making sun-dried tomatoes is a great way to preserve the fruit, if you have an abundance of it in your garden! They are also readily available in the market under different brand names.
How to Select
While buying readymade ones from the market, check for the seal of the packs and expiry dates.
They can be used in a wide variety of recipes, especially in pizzas and other Italian dishes.
They are also best-suited for making a variety of chutneys and pickles.
Sun-dried tomatoes add a nice tangy flavour to different salads and soups as well.
It can also be used to make purees and gravies.
They can also be added in some cheese-based dips and spreads and served with appetizers as well.
How to Store
These sun-dried tomatoes should be stored in air-tight pouches and bags and always kept in the deep freezer.
Since sun-dried tomatoes preserve much of the nutrients of normal tomatoes, they are rich in lycopene, vitamin C and sodium.
They are loaded with antioxidants, which are proven to be heart-friendly.
Since they are rich in calcium, they help keep your bones in healthy shape.
Soaked and chopped sun dried tomatoes
For soaked and chopped sin dried tomatoes, first soak the sun dried tomatoes in warm water for upto 30 minutes or till they turn soft and pliable. Drain and place them on a chopping board and chop into small or big pieces using a sharp knife. You can chop them into coarse pieces by cutting them roughly or can also chop into smaller pieces.
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