All you need is lots of Roma (plum) tomatoes, salt, pepper and dried herbs of your choice. Roma tomatoes are best because they have less juice and fewer seeds than other tomatoes and have nice thick walls.
Cut your Roma tomatoes in half, lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds. I found mum’s butter curler was “tailor-made” for the job but, in previous years, I have used a dessert spoon. Discard the juice and seeds or, better still, keep the juice for another occasion. Sprinkle your halves with salt, coarsely ground pepper and dried herbs of choice (I used dried mixed herbs but dried basil would also be perfect). If you are drying them in the sun, add some garlic powder because it is good for keeping the bugs at bay.
Lay your tomatoes out on a cake rack or wire mesh in the sun until nice and dry.
What I used to do was lay my tomatoes out on an old (cleaned) fly screen which I rested on two pieces of wood. I am not sure whether fly screens are just an Australian thing. In case they are, I will explain. They are wooden (or, nowadays, aluminium) frames covered in fine mesh. We place them over our windows so that insects can’t get inside our houses when we have the windows open. Second hand ones are easily sourced at salvage yards.
If you are drying your tomatoes in the sun, bring them in each evening.
The sun is traditional but a dehydrator is ideal. Another great way to dry tomatoes is on the back window ledge of a car parked in the sun or, more conventionally, in a fan forced oven with only the fan on.
Leave your tomatoes until they are leathery. You don’t want them so dry that they are brittle. Mine took about 24-30 hours. The time will depend on the size of the tomato and where you drying them.
Pack tomatoes into a sterilised jar and cover with quality olive oil. Store your tomatoes in the fridge. The olive oil will solidify a bit but it takes no time to re-liquidify once you bring them back to room temperature.
Use your tomatoes in any number of things, especially on fresh crusty bread, as part of an antipasto plate, or in pasta dishes.
Once you have used your tomatoes, you will have beautiful tomato-infused olive oil to use in your cooking. It’s a win-win situation.