Sicilian Sun-Dried Tomatoes

In order to make this traditional recipe, you need to find the right ripe tomatoes and check the weather forecast. In fact, you will need at least 3 consecutive days with strong sun, clear sky and no wind. This is the traditional method to make the amazing sun-dried tomatoes 🙂 P.S. At the end of the below process, if you chop the sun-dried tomatoes before storing them into a jar filled with oil, then you would have made the “capuliato”. Another traditional preserve which is usually consumed spread on freshly baked bread ?

  • DifficultyEasy
  • CostCheap
  • Preparation time2 Days
  • Servingmakes around 1 kilo sun-dried tomatoes
  • CuisineItalian


  • 10 kgtomatoes (recommended variety: cherry tomatoes or pixel tomatoes)
  • q.s.salt
  • 2 lsunflower oil cold pressed (or extra virgin olive oil)
  • q.s.fresh basil


  1. – wash and rinse well the tomatoes;

    – cut hem in half and distribute them on a wide and flat wooden board;

    – top each half tomato slices with a generous pinch of salt;

    – find a place on your roof or garden which has 12 hours of sun exposure;

    – place the board onto some chairs or a table and leave them under the sun till dusk;

    – at night, put the board under a repaired pergola, a porch or a garage;

    – the day after, put the board under the sun for all day again;

    – repeat the above operations till tomatoes will be completely dry;

    – on the last day, when tomatoes are finally ready, take a tall pot and fill it with water;

    – put the pot on the stove and bring to boil;

    – pour the sun-dried tomatoes in the boiling water and mix well with a spoon;

    – leave the tomatoes just a few seconds then drain them immediately with a colander (this process removes any excess of salt and sterilizes the tomatoes);

    – cover the wooden board with a clean tablecloth;

    – distribute the tomatoes on the board;

    – cover them with an insect screen net and leave them one last time to dry under the sun (it should take half a morning);

    – close the two half of each tomato back together and put them into a sterilized glass jar together with some basil leaves, press them well on the bottom of the jar till you fill it with sun-dried tomatoes;

    – pour the oil onto the jar till the it sinks and covers all the sun-dried tomatoes;

    – shake the jar and press further the tomatoes inside to ensure that there are no air bubbles;

    – close and seal the jar with a clean lid;

    – store in a dark and dry place;

    – make sure you always use a clean stainless steel fork or spoon whenever you take some sun-dried tomatoes and that they are always cover in oil before storing it away again;

    – if the jar will be always covered in oil and if you will always use clean cutlery, then the sun-dried tomatoes can be stored and consumed for 12 months.  

    N.B. always consult and follow your Department of Health’s best practice tips when you make your homemade preserves.


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