For those of you who can’t bring yourselves to use sun-dried tomatoes, you can make your own plump and juicy oven-dried beauties. Lay them out on the pan organized by type; they will be done at different times according to size and tomato variety, and it will be easier to take them off your sheet pan if some are ready before others. Choose a pan that will just fit your tomatoes without any empty space, which might cause burning.
Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the tomatoes in the baking sheet cut side up and grouped according to their size or type. If you want them drier, leave a bit of space between them. Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper as you normally would and drizzle a bit of olive oil over them. If you wish to add herbs, simply lay the sprigs here and there over the tomatoes.
Bake until they are as dry as you would like, two to three hours. Transfer the tomatoes to a storage container, add a pinch of chile flakes, if using, and pour in enough olive oil to cover them completely. You can also freeze these if they last long enough to make it to the freezer. They keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
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