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Sundried Tomatoes

I recently visited Sicily and returned with a giant bag of sundried tomatoes that I got from a street market. They aren't packed in oil, are soft and pliable and have a very concentrated flavor. I've chopped them in salads, added to sauces and I overpowered a vinaigrette but haven't landed on a recipe that sings. No recipes on milk street that use them. I'm also wondering if I should put them in oil to extend their shelf life. I also got a small bag of capers that are packed in sea salt. Any ideas on using capers packed this way? I would assume they are very salty.


  • Hi Elizabeth - Lucky you! The sundried tomatoes that you got in Sicily aren't all that different than the ones that are packed in oil. The ones packed in oil are dried the same way - either using the oven, a dehydrator, or in the sun - and then added to oil that may also include additional flavorings like garlic and herbs. Because of this, the flavor may not be as potent as the ones that are simply dried. In general with sundried tomatoes, a little goes a long way. You could try substituting some of the grape tomatoes in our Sicilian Trapanese Pesto with some rehydrated sundried tomatoes. However, you may find that you need to add extra cooking water as the sundried tomatoes won't have as much moisture as the grape tomatoes. Our food editor, Matt Card, makes a fantastic Pasta con Fagioli with sundried tomatoes from our recipe for White Beans with Rosemary and Thyme in our Sunday Cook series, which features recipes to cook on Sunday from which multiple recipes can be made during the week. You can find all of our Sunday Cook features by searching "Sunday Cook" on the website.

    Capers packed in salt are actually much more flavorful than those packed in a vinegar brine. Rather than tasting the vinegar, you get the caper's natural, floral flavor. To use, rinse in water and then, depending on how much salt you want in the dish, soak them for up to 15 minutes to draw out the salt. Taste them as you go to gauge saltiness keeping in mind that as you soak you are losing some of the caper's flavor as well. These capers would be best served raw in a salad to maintain their fresh, floral notes.

    Thanks for writing to us! Best, Lynn C.

  • This is enormously helpful. Thank you!

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