Sunday, August 23, 2015

Drying tomatoes...

 Fresh halved tomatoes.

 Roasted, dried tomatoes

Well, hi there!  It's been a while since I've checked in.  I'm so glad to be here and wanting to chat with you for a little bit.  I've not been feeling well.  All of us here got the coughing crud, but mine turned into something else.  Finally, after all my home remedies, and not getting better, I drove in to the walk-in clinic (that sounds funny, doesn't it?) and got myself checked.  After just 2 days on a Z-pak, I'm feeling unusually good.  You know the old saying, "I didn't know how bad I felt until I felt good again."?  Well that's me.  Today I'm making up for some of those under-the-weather days.

The garden is coming into its own and producing some nice tomatoes after a round of blossom end rot on the first ripe tomatoes.  The cherry tomatoes, which have turned out to be orange-y tomatoes never got the rot like the larger ones.  Since I'm the only one in the house that eats tomatoes, and since I planted about 12 tomato plants and 4 more by seed, you can imagine that even I cannot eat ALL the tomatoes that are ripening.  So I decided part of my preserving would be in the form of drying tomatoes.  I've done this before and I must say, it's amazing.  The flavor is rich, deep, sweet, and tangy all at the same time.  I dry mine in the oven, but you could use the sun too.

I slice my tomatoes in half or in thick slices, put them on parchment paper seed-side up, drizzle with a little olive oil (but you don't have to) and salt and pepper them to taste.  Or just salt them.  Slide them into the oven that is set at 450* for about 20-30 minutes, depending on how juicy your tomatoes are.  Just check them and pull them out when they become dry and somewhat leathery.  Some folks do this same process, but they set the oven temperature at 250* and dry them over 3-4 hours, depending on how juicy the tomatoes are.  Either way works.  When you are done, you can eat them right away or allow them to cool and store them in good olive oil in the fridge for up to a month or you can flash freeze them on the trays for about 30 minutes or until firm.  Then take them off the trays and store them in freezer bags in the freezer.  Do taste them!  They are SO DELICIOUS!  You will imagine all kinds of ways to use these beauties in your cooking.  I was thinking of how good they would be blitzed up in a tomato soup or on Martguerita Pizza or using them to make a thick tomato paste or spaghetti sauce.  And my favorite way might be to just eat them as they are, or on a sandwich.  It is said that in Italy they dry tomatoes out in the sun on their flat roofs or on plywood over saw horses and keep them out in the hot sun until they are nice and leathery.  Who cares if a bug lands on them?  Right?  The only thing I think of is birds.  They might love to taste the experiment too.  Next time I dry some tomatoes, I'm going to try it without the olive oil and just use salt.  I think they may dry quicker that way.

I chopped down the basil and made a batch of pesto today too.  Another big YUM-O-LICOUS thing.

Thanks for stopping by.  Are you preserving any garden goodies?
..............................................................

"Sometimes when I am working in my garden, when the day is hot and still, I am transported to another world.  The hum of bees seems like singing wires from Eternity.  It is as though a message were trying to come through and I know what it means but I can't hear the words."
~Anonymous

14 comments:

  1. Oh Jody those look good. My mom used to dry her fruit and veggies in the sun between two clean window screens to keep the bugs off. I use aan electric dehydrated. I like to sprinkle balsamic vinegar and kosher salt on some of mine just to snack on. Hope you get to feeling better. Isn't Z park wonderful?

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  2. Like you, I really like dried tomatoes...sometimes pack them in EVOO and save for pizza, soups, salads, etc.

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  3. So sorry you were down for the count! Glad you are better!

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  4. I am so sorry you were sick. My two of my sons got sick like that. I couldn't figure out where it would come from this time of year. I am glad you are feeling good again. I have never dried tomatoes. They sound wonderful. I laughed because I have been the only one who liked tomatoes too. Thankfully as each of the kids have got married their mates like tomatoes so I am not alone anymore.
    They are lovely. The only thing I have ever dried in the sun has been raisins. Same principle except I would take my screens off my windows and wash them and put them on top of the grapes. It always worked like a charm. Oh, on the picnic table out in the yard. :) I love drying food and putting it in jars too. I hope you continue to get better and better.

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  5. I have in past years slow-roasted cherry tomatoes, and have the recipe on my blog. I don't have enough this summer to do that with, but I still have some of the finished product in the freezer, layered on wax paper. I took some out yesterday and decorated the top of a frittata with them, and they were still SO delish!

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  6. You are an excellent harvester and one who puts things by. Yay Jody!
    How awful to cough and cough. I had that last year about this time and it hung on way too long. I'm so glad yoy are on the mend!

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  7. If I can stop eating them, I am all over that. Perfect on chicken ranch pizza. Thank you and hope you get feeling better.

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  8. Proud of you for storing up for winter! Enjoy the fruits of your labor! :) Glad you're feeling perky again!

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  9. So sorry you weren't feeling well, but happy you got that Z-Pac!

    Yesterday I read that women who eat tomatoes three or four times a week are 70% less likely to get ovarian cancer than women who don't. Given that since the end of June I've been eating tomatoes every single day, and lots of them, I'm feeling very healthy and wise!

    I've not tried drying tomatoes, but we've got another round coming in, so maybe I will. Thanks for the instructions!

    xofrances

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  10. I am so sorry you weren't well...but glad you are feeling better! Your tomatoes look delicious. My poor little garden didn't produce any this year. The drought has been tough. I roast mine just like you do. They WOULD be wonderful in a tomato soup. Now you have me dreaming of Fall and warm soups for dinner! :)

    ~Julia

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  11. Love your post! I am also in preserving mode, with mainly tomatoes and pears. Made some tomato soup to freeze yesterday, and roasted some a day or two before that. And I made pear sauce for the freezer yesterday, too. We love dried tomatoes, too. One year I tried drying them on the dashboard of the car; didn't work too well!

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  12. roasted small tomatoes in the convection oven yesterday...will mash with kalamata olives, roasted artichoke hearts, S&P, EVOO and eat on crackers for supper.

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  13. Oh yummm, nothing like homemade dried tomatoes. So much flavor and will be wonderful this winter xox Clarice

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  14. Those look great! They are delish to pop into your mouth. We used to dry tomatoes and store them in mason jars in olive oil, as you say. We'd put them on pizza, and the flavor they add is amazing. Enjoy!

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