Last year, I came across some yellow roma tomatoes at the farmers’ market. I bought a bagful, dried them, and saved some seed. This year, these tomatoes were the heartiest of the bunch in our tomato bed. This past weekend, I spent hours washing, slicing, and drying, and I know come January, it will have been well worth it. I’m reposting this one for anyone looking to taste that summer sweetness when the cold wind blows.
There is nothing I like more than throwing a handful of sundried tomatoes into a dish to add a bit of tangy punch and a little bit of summer. Tonight, I wandered out to the tomato and pepper bed, rounded the corner, and ta-dah! The sundrying tomatoes are ripening! Start your (dehydrating) engines and sterilize the Mason jars–it’s time to start drying.
A couple of years ago, I got fed up paying so much money for dehydrated tomatoes in the store when I knew I could do it myself. I will admit, I do not actually “sun dry” mine. I bought a relatively affordable and effective dehydrator and started making my own dried tomatoes. I like to slice them thinly so they almost become crunchy. No worries though–once I bake, saute, or cook them, they soak up moisture and taste just like they did in July.
Some quick tips for dehydrating/drying tomatoes:
There are several methods for packing and storing dehydrated tomatoes. The primary goal is to keep them dry until you are ready to rehydrate–the last thing you want to find is mold or some other creature taking over your delicious goodies. Some suggested packaging: zip-top bags, stuff and seal bags, containers with lids, and my personal favorite–Mason jars. As a precaution, I sterilize my jars, either in a boiling water bath or in the dishwasher, then let them air dry.
Now that you’ve dried and stored your tomatoes, what to do with them? Some of my favorites:
So now that you know the ins and outs of drying tomatoes, give it a try–your wallet and your recipes will thank you!