I’ve been on a sun dried tomato kick lately. I’ve been eating these babies like chips, adding a handful to my lunch salads, and blending them into my dressings. I do suggest that you purchase NO SALT and NO OIL dry packs, as you get the best flavor that doesn’t compromise with the natural tomato-ey goodness.
I buy my sun dried tomatoes either at Trader Joe’s or Farmer’s Markets close to my home. They can be a bit pricey, but I always think it is worth it in the end. But then I got to thinking about how easy it probably is to make these, and how I should definitely give it a shot. I have a dehydrator that has been sitting in a closet for who knows how long, that could definitely be used to “sun dry” my own tomatoes. So, I did it! I got a bunch of high quality, fresh and super ripe tomatoes at the farmer’s market to ensure that I would get the best flavor, and I dehydrated those babies.
The result? Perfect sun dried tomatoes that I did not have to spend the extra bucks for (in exchange for a few hours of my impatient time). I store them in an airtight jar in my fridge, and I easily refill the jar in a days time by making more in the mornings for them to be finished at night. I recommend between 115-120 F for about 8 hours give or take, depending on how chewy or crunchy you prefer them to be. The drier you make them, the longer they will last.
With my homemade sun dried tomatoes, and fresh basil from my garden, I made a recipe for stuffed artichokes that I just had to share. Not only are artichokes beautiful and delicious, they also have a lot of nutritional benefits that come along with them. Whether you eat them raw or cooked, you will be nourishing your body with a lot of goodness! To name a few, artichokes are high in antioxidants, great for the liver, improve digestion, and may reduce cholesterol.
- 2 artichokes
- ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes (salt free and oil free), chopped
- 2-4 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 1 lemon
- 1 bay leaf
- Fresh cracked rainbow peppercorns
- Garlic Powder
- Water for steaming
- Seasoning to taste: parsley, oregano, onion powder + herbs de provence
- Prep the artichoke in order to steam them whole. Trim the stem, top, and tips of the artichoke leaves.
- Spread open the artichoke for stuffing.
- Drizzle each artichoke with lemon juice.
- Stuff in your sun dried tomatoes and basil. Make sure you stuff them in well, especially the basil, as they tend to fall out easily.
- Generously crack pepper and sprinkle garlic powder over each. Add al of your additional seasonings as you please. You may add salt if you want as well, but I did not.
- Add lemon slices into a pot that is taller then your artichokes, and add in your bay leaf as well. Lay in your artichokes, and using them as a guide, add water into your pot until they cover just about the heart of the artichoke.
- Bring to a medium low heat, and steam for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the pot, and enjoy!