The sad thing about dried tomateos is that that shrink. A lot. Pounds and pounds of tomatoes are reduced to a tiny bowlful. Right now they are $0.69/lb (in Manhattan, at any rate), which isn't super-cheap, but it's certainly cheaper than those little jars. I can't wait to dry tomatoes in the summer, when they are really in season. The active time needed to make them is only 15 or so minutes, but they do have to dry out in the oven for up to 8 hours, which is why they are a good weekend cooking project.
Since these are dried in the oven, they should be called oven dried tomatoes, but somehow that lacks a little something. They did hang out in the sun while the oven was heating up-- does that count?
As always, the quantities below are completely flexible. I dried 2 1/4 lbs of plum tomatoes, and they fit nicely on a cookie sheet, so that's what I'll specify in the recipe.
2 1/4 lb plum tomatoes
1 tsp salt
tiny pinch sugar
1 tsp (approx.) dried Italian herbs
2 tbsp (approx.) olive oil
Turn the oven on to 200 F. Wash the tomatoes and slice into 1/4'' slices-- don't go any thinner or they will get crunchy in the oven. Spread them in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt, a tiny bit of sugar, and the Italian herbs. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake until they are the right texture-- not wet, but not crunch. They should feel like soft raisins or dried apricots. I'd say that will take around 7-8 hours.
They will keep forever in ziploc bags in the freezer. I knew I'd be using my little handful of tomatoes up right away, so I just put them in the fridge. Next time I might put them in a jar with some olive oil.