I bought a huge bunch of sun-dried tomatoes with the intent of pickling them in olive oil. So I started with a small batch, but still after weeks in the oil, they are still hard. So I guess they are just way too dry.

Is there any way to use these bad boys, or should I just toss them?


2 Answers 2


Firstly, you should be extremely careful preserving anything like tomatoes or garlic in olive oil, because you are asking for botulism that way.

Secondly, if something is too dry, you should add water. Try steeping the tomatoes in hot water for 20-30 minutes.

  • Thanks. So if I want to pickle them; hot water, then oil? and would sunflower oil be fine? Commented Jan 25, 2014 at 10:50
  • 4
    I wouldn't preserve them in oil at all. While tomatoes are less susceptible to carrying botulinum toxin than garlic (botulinum is found in soil), IMO it's just not worth the risk. Botulinum needs an anoxic environment to grow in, and oil is perfect for it. If you want to use them, I would soak them in water, then drizzle them in fresh oil just before serving them (you can also put them in oil, in the fridge, for a couple of days tops.) Commented Jan 25, 2014 at 11:02

You can put them in boiling water for a few (about 5) minutes. Adding a pinch of salt and a little vinegar to the water can improve the effect and taste, depending on personal preference.

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