dried tomatoes

dried tomatoes

So, we still have a lot of tomatoes. We are cooking with them fresh and eating them out of hand, but can’t harvest them fast enough and some are rotting on the vine. [I am hoping this might mean volunteer tomatoes next year, like we had with the arugula.] We are canning and freezing whole tomatoes and sauce, but that process sure does heat up the kitchen and take a fair bit of hands-on time.

I decided to try an electric dehydrator to make dried tomatoes. We love sun-dried tomatoes, especially those packed in olive oil. I am not confident that I can dry them in my climate the way that I did the cayenne peppers, so I thought the electric dehydrator would be a safer bet.

tomatoes

tomatoes for drying

I harvested all of the paste tomatoes (roma and san marzano) that were ripe and free of blemishes, washed them, sliced them in half lengthwise, and removed their cores and seeds. I was able to fit 43 on the five trays of the dehydrator. This book suggested a drying temperature of 145 °F until crisp. About 20 hours(!!) later, the tomatoes were dry, but still flexible. Total yield was only two 13-oz jam jars.  We are storing the tomatoes dry in the jam jars in the refrigerator, and will reconstitute them (and perhaps add olive oil) when we plan to use them.

dried tomatoes

A certain 20-month-old boy loves them!

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2 responses to “dried tomatoes

  1. I do this with juliets which are a kind of mini roma tomato. I grow them exclusively to dry and then I buy some from my CSA farm for the same purpose. Delicious! I don’t seed them or anything and I use them just like sundried tomatoes from the store. You can even grind them up to add a tomato flavor to just about anything.

  2. oh, thanks for the tip! i will try to start some juliets from seed in the spring. i haven’t seen them in my farmers market before. do you find that they don’t take so long to dry?

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