Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sundried Tomatoes

Good thing I had a helper. We had a lot of produce to
get through!
Another day of bountiful harvest. Last time I blanched and peeled a bunch of the tiny ones. I really didn't want to do that again, but what can you do with that many cherry tomatoes? I like salad as much as the next girl, but really?

I found some inspiration online, and got started processing this afternoon. I also found that most "sun-dried tomatoes" aren't actually dried in the sun. It is a very simple process though, with tools and equipment, most of us have on hand.

First round using red cherry tomatoes
I had some help cutting hundreds of cherry/pear tomatoes, so that we could try our hands at sun-dried tomatoes. We cut them in half, crosswise as recommended. I don't think the crosswise is anything more than prettier though, the few that were cut 'incorrectly' still turned out yummy.

After about an hour, the house started to smell delicious. I look forward to making some focaccia bread this winter to go with some of the stews I've been canning. I did 4 trays with slightly different seasonings, They all tasted awesome. They do not even come close to comparing to store bought. So flavorful and yummy!

Here is what we did:
*Cherry tomatoes - remove stems, rinse with fresh water, cut in half crosswise
*Parchment paper - line bottom of a cookie sheet/jelly roll pan, then place tomatoes cut side up with sides touching (they will shrink so it's OK to pack them in tight)
*Season to taste - I did 4 pans. One with gloves of garlic arrange amidst the tomatoes. One sprinkled with basil and kosher salt. One sprinkled with just kosher salt. One with onion salt.
I did 2 batches, 1 red, 1 yellow and it all reduced down
to this!
*Olive Oil - drizzle lightly. I just used my Misto to spray it lightly.
*Bake at 225ยบ for 3 hours (time is approximate, if they are still wet/moist go longer) The safest way to store is in a freezer bag in the freezer, remove as much air as possible. They should be good for 6-12 months (Longer in deep freeze, shorter in fridge/freezer combo)

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