July 22, 2009

Sunblush Tomatoes

These Sunblush tomatoes also known as (semi dried tomatoes) are simply divine. What is the difference between 'semi dried' and 'sun dried' you ask? Well the answer is really very simple. Sun dried tomatoes are fresh ripe tomatoes that are placed in the sun to remove almost all of their water content. In Italy fresh tomatoes were placed on tile roof tops as a way to preserve them for the winter. This technique is still used today but mainly for commercial use. Unlike Sunblush tomatoes the sundried variety are somewhat unattractive. They tend to resemble little shriveled pieces of chewed red leather. They can, however be a joy to eat but they usually have to be soaked in water for a while or doused in large amounts of olive oil in order for them to soften somewhat.

Personally, I prefer Sunblush tomatoes. These babies are semi dried and removed from the heat at the half way stage resulting in a less chewy and instead a more plump and semi juicy tomato. They have an intense sweet summer flavour that will have you hooked from the minute you taste them. Try them with bread, cheese (especially goat's cheese), salads, pasta, sauces, or as part of an Antipasti.

Sunblush tomatoes are still largely undiscovered. However, they are available from good delicatessens at specialty supermarkets. Available for a small fortune that is! So skip the trip and make them yourself with these very cheap and very simple ingredients.

Although this recipe requires that you use a rather large amount of tomatoes, you will actually only end up with about 1 to 1- 1/2 cups of the finished product. However, because they posses so much flavour you won’t need to use as many at a time as you would regular tomatoes.

You will need:

2lbs of cherry tomatoes (about two punnets)
3 tbls olive oil
2 tsp kosher salt
1 heaped tsp dried thyme
1/4 heaped tsp caster sugar (superfine)

Preheat oven to 225 F

Cut tomatoes in half and arrange cut side up on a large baking tray lined with a baking mat or parchment paper.

Drizzle over the olive oil and then sprinkle evenly with the salt, sugar and thyme.

Place in the preheated oven and leave for at least 4 hours. The finished tomatoes should be somewhat dry but still a little juicy. They should look like this when they are done.

When ready, spoon the tomatoes into a sealable container with any remaining oil. Top up with a little extra olive oil if desired. They will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks, although being as delicious as they are it is impossible to keep them around for that long! Enjoy!


  1. Jennie that looks well yummmmmy - will give that a try ..........

  2. Jennie, these semi-dried tomatoes are perfect for so many recipes. I am definitely going to make a batch to use during the busy holiday weekend coming up. You have some terrific recipe ideas on your incredibly creative bog. Many thanks for stopping my mine, so I could know about yours.

  3. Excellent way of using up a glut of tomatoes. We ended up doing this too.

  4. This are excellent used in tomato soup. My SIL made it once.

  5. Surely if you leave them in the oven at 225 degrees for four hours they will be burnt to a crisp. Perhaps you meant to say turn off the oven when it has reached 225 and then leave the tomatoes for 4 hours.

  6. Anonymous - The directions I have stated above are correct. 225 degrees Fahrenheit (110 degrees Celsius) is very low. Perhaps you thought I meant 225 degrees Celsius? In that case the tomatoes would indeed be burnt to a crisp! I have attached a link to an oven temperature conversion chart below. Thank you for stopping by! : )


  7. This looks like a great recipe and I'm excited to try it out. Is it possible to freeze these sunblush tomatoes to allow you to store them longer?

  8. Hello Anonymous - I have never tried freezing them. They never seem to be around long enough! To be honest though, I don't think they'd freeze very well. My suggestion would be to make a smaller batch. Hope this helps!