Wednesday, December 2, 2009

oven-dried tomatoes

tomato season is coming to a close, quite honestly i am shocked that we still have as many as we do right now( ...i guess you can thank global warming). But i can definitely feel that their time is limited (hello leg warmers!).
this year, i have been blessed with incredible deals on heirloom tomatoes from the awesome people at Tutti Frutti Farms, in which i have made ketchup, Bloody Mary mix and tomato jam. i have also recently made dried tomatoes, which if you have an abundance of tomatoes, this is a very economical way of making a gourmet product.

(adding the salt and olive oil)

heat the oven to its lowest setting, ideally 180, mine only goes to 200, so i keep a close watch on them and sometimes have the oven door open a little.
slice the toms no bigger that 1/2", best is 1/4", just make sure they are all pretty uniform.
lay on parchment paper sprinkle olive oil and sprinkle with salt (spicy salt too!)
put in the oven for at least 4 hours, sometimes i do overnight. when they look like the ones below, take them out and put on a cooling rack. store in a container w/ a lid.

(the finished product)

now you can keep them like this for a few months, but you can also do something gourmey to them that will make them last longer.

  • 2-5 cups of olive oil, depends on the container size and amount of toms
  • dried (or fresh) basil and/or oregano
  • salt
  • minced garlic
  • dried tomatoes
use a wide-mouth jar and wash it really well (just go ahead and sterilize it!). fill the jar with layers of the garlic, toms, herbs and salt until you get to the top (but don't pack densely, you still have to put in oil). fill with oil until everything is submerged, make sure there are no air bubbles. tap the jar on the counter (of course make sure there is a towel under so the glass wont break), to get air out. secure with a lid and let it cure in a cool, dark place for 4-6 days. if you want, you can put them in the fridge, but i find that they loose a little flavor. as long as you put them in a cool, dark place they should be fine (Italians have been doing it for years).
(this is what they look like, not my photo-still can't find the camera cord!)
PS does anyone know where i can get a CHEAP camera cord or i will do a trade if you have an extra one.

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