9/16/2008

Oven-dried tomatoes

We've had a bumper crop of roma tomatoes this year, though the recent cool temperatures seem to have put an end to that for the season. Last year, we tried to eat the romas fresh. Not so good. Romas tend toward the mealy side, their intrinsic tomato-i-ness obscured by their relatively dry flesh. Then we stumbled upon the idea of freezing the little bastards in small batches as they ripened and later simmering them down into a tasty sauce. And let me tell you - it was great. Concentrated fresh tomato goodness. We've used it on pasta, for soup, basically anywhere you could use tomato sauce. We're doing it again this year. We'll probably simmer them down during the winter, when filling the house with the smell of hot tomatoes seems like a great idea, instead of just a good idea. But this past weekend, I decided to try another tomato preservation method, sun-drying! Except late summer near Lake Michigan tends to be cool and damp. Not your optimal sun-drying weather. The weekend was no exception. Temps dipped into the 50's, and it rained pretty much constantly. So... oven-drying! Trim and halve the romas, then bake on a wire tray about 10 hours at 170 deg F. And the results? Well, the only thing I can say is that they're bloody delicious! I mean, just look at that picture. Quite frankly, I'm rather proud that I managed to freeze any of these, rather than just gobbling them down. They're chewy, sweet-tart, and loaded with tomato glory. I'm storing them in the freezer, since I'm not entirly convinced they're dry enough to store at room temp. And I can't wait until some blustery winter day when I stumble across them while rooting around for one more burger bun- a little bit of concentrated summer.


PS: I'm using this post as my late September entry to Grow Your Own. Chez Us is hosting this time around. Check out Andrea's Recipes for a list of who is hosting the next round!

1 comment:

Andrea said...

We've tried just about every method of drying tomatoes, and I also like drying in the oven, but not completely. I think that little bit of moisture left holds some good flavor. Welcome to Grow Your Own!

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