Thursday, August 25, 2011

You say tomato, I say tomato. Let’s call the whole thing a great project: Oven dried tomatoes.

My aunt successfully planted a nice little crop of tomatoes and generously shared some with my family. They seemed to be about the right quality for a project I’ve wanted to pursue for a while: oven-dried tomatoes.

Oven dried tomatoes you ask? Yes. Such tomatoes are basically a substitute for sun dried tomatoes, and can be used in all the same recipes, but with a slightly different flavor. Perhaps less earthy but still has that nice depth of tomato flavor.

The process is simple. All you need are tomatoes (one pound is good), salt, olive oil and two cloves of garlic. A bit of forewarning, this is not an instant satisfaction recipe. The “cooking” takes six hours, then you need to wait a couple days after that. But the results are great, and you’ll have a versatile ingredient once you’re done!

First preheat your oven to 200 degrees F. Clean your tomatoes as per usual.

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Remove the stems. I like to slice it in a circular fashion avoid waste.

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Then lay them cut side up in a foil lined pan.

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Next, generously sprinkle with salt. Be less generous with table salt, but more generous with kosher salt and other less potent salts.

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Then place the pan into the oven, and let it go for 6 hours.

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The end result shall look dry and shriveled but when touched, will still have quite a bit of squish to them. They’re not going to turn into cardboard by any stretch. Let them cool off a bit.

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Once they’ve cooled to room temperature we can proceed! Get your olive oil and garlic cloves ready.

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I had a rather monstrous garlic clove, so one was fine for this purpose.

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Cut your garlic cloves into halves. Or quarters if you have monster cloves like me.

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Place the tomatoes into a clean container. Glass would probably be best. Then toss on the garlic pieces.

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Then cover with olive oil! Put into the refrigerator and wait at least two days before using. This will keep for a couple weeks at least.

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My next post will be a recipe that uses some of these delicious tomatoes! Look forward to it!

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