Sun-dried Tomato Puree

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Dried tomatoes that haven’t been packed in oil are hard and leathery but very concentrated, with faintly smoky overtones. They’re usually a lot less expensive than the oil-packed imports. One way to use them is to make them into a thick purée and use it to season soups and stews or to spread thinly over toast or pizza crusts. There are no added seasonings or sugar—just the intense flavor of the tomatoes. Pack the purée into a clean jar, cover it with olive oil, and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep several months. One ounce will make nearly a cup of paste, which is a lot since it’s so concentrated, but it’s harder to make smaller amounts unless you have one of the mini–food processor attachments for your blender.



Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

Equipmentfood processor

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and Texturesavory, sweet

Type of DishCondiments, dip/spread


  • 1 ounce (about ¾ cup) sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil


  1. Put the tomatoes and water in a small, heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes and their liquid to a food processor. Process for several minutes, until the sauce is fairly smooth and the skins are broken up. If necessary, add more water to loosen the mass and make it easier to purée. Transfer the purée to a clean jar, film the top with the oil, and cover it tightly. Store it in the refrigerator.


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