- Rinse firm ripe tomatoes and pat dry. Cut them in half and place side by side on a board, cut sides up.
- Sprinkle coarse salt over the cut surfaces to cover them completely and put in a sunny place.
- Protect the tomatoes from rain or damp. The drying process takes 15-20 days, depending on the weather, during which time the tomatoes will shrink and wrinkle.
- Thread on a strong string and hang up in the sunshine, with a bowl underneath to catch any remaining juice, until they are completely dried.
- The drying process can be speeded up initially by placing the tomatoes in a very low oven for 15-20 minutes and then stringing them.
- When they are completely dried, store them in cheesecloth (muslin) bags hanging in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place.
- To use the tomatoes, rinse under cold running water.
- Place them in a bowl, add warm water to cover, and let soak for several hours, until they swell.
- Rinse and drain well.
- Sun-dried tomatoes can be used in pasta sauces, salads, vegetable stews, and bread. Coated with flour, dipped in a thin batter, and fried in hot olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes make a delicious meze.