Monday, July 20, 2015

Oven-Dried Tomatoes

heirloom varieties: Solar Flare, Vorlon, Jaune Flamme, Pink Ping Pong
It's that time again! Summer: AKA Tomato Season. Our veggie garden is rich with tomatoes and it makes me GIDDY.

There is nothing tastier than home grown tomatoes sprinkled with salt, pepper and a little bit of olive oil. Nothing tastier that is, except oven-dried tomatoes! When you have so many tomatoes you don't know what to do; slice them, put them in a low temp oven and slow cook them for a few hours. The flavors will concentrate and each slice will pack the punch of a hundred sweet and tangy heirlooms ripened on the vine. If there was such a thing as tomato candy, this would be it.

If you have a brown thumb, no yard, sunshine, out-door space and/or gardening inclination; never fear. This slow roasting process can turn even lowly supermarket tomatoes into superstars.

Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.

Slice tomatoes 1/4"-3/8" thick. The thicker you cut them the juicier they'll be and/or longer you'll need to cook them.

Scatter some fresh herbs (i used rosemary and thyme) and a few cloves of garlic, still in the peel, on top. (This is optional. I've done this without and they've still been amazing.)

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Place in the oven and cook for anywhere from 2-4 hours. The former for juicier/chewy slices and latter for drier chunks. Inevitably, you'll have a variety of both because there is no way you'll be able to slice each tomato precisely the same thickness. Just go with it.

------------------>  Put away the ruler <-----------------

Check your oven every half hour or so after the 2 hour mark until they reach your desired consistency.

After they are done eat a few directly off the pan just for quality control purposes.

Put them on sandwiches, pizzas, salads, your tongue, whatever.

Store them in the fridge in an airtight container with more olive oil drizzled on top. They should keep for a week or two.

Happy Eating!