Friday, September 04, 2009

Dried Green Tomatoes

Took a walk through the Veggie Garden of Wunx last night.

'Twas the Intermittent Meeting of the Ladies Irregular Supper Club and I was in attendance in body, if not in mind. I'd had a rough day though it was rapidly improving since I discovered her husband's wine cellar and [hey, whaddyaknow!] found a lovely bottle of Viognier.

At some point, I'll yak about her pretty flowers but what struck me when I rounded the garden corner were tomato vines, taller than me.

It got me thinking about how tricky tomato seedlings can be. Sneaky, conniving little monsters. They act so sweet and innocent in the springtime. So tiny. There's room! Let's plant a few extras!

Twelve weeks later all hell breaks loose and, well, you can run but you can't hide.

So, it IS Labor Day weekend and these tomatoes SHOULD be red by now. They'll probably get there but how does one cope with a truckload of tomaters?

Never fear. Hazel is here. She dries tomatoes in her oven and Wunx can, too. :)

Oven-Dried Tomatoes
  • Start with firm, ripe (not overly ripe) fresh-picked tomatoes.
  • Slice cherry tomatoes in half, slice larger tomatoes into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Sprinkle sea salt to improve flavor and speed up the drying process.
  • Set the oven to 175 - 200 degrees (F).
  • Place tomatoes, skin side down, on a baking sheet. Perforated pizza pans are great because they allow air circulation.
  • Slowly roast these babies. It could take anywhere from 3-12 hours (depending upon the size of the tomato slices.)
How to Know if You've Screwed Up:
√ Dried tomatoes are done when they feel pliable, kind of leathery.
√ If your tomatoes are brittle, they're over-done and you get an A for effort, nothing more.

To Rehydrate Dried Tomatoes:
Soak in water for 1-2 hours or toss directly into soups and stews.

* You can dry green tomatoes. However, you might be a whole lot happier if you ripen them the old fashioned way and dry them when they're ready. That's why windowsills were invented, way back when.

I'm not an advocate for frying, or drying, green tomatoes. I simply titled this blog post Dried Green Tomatoes 'cause I liked that old movie. Especially the part where they slow-cooked the mean guy!)


Chloe m said...

Dang, if only I had enough to dry!
I'll just have to go to the farmers market so I can try this out! Thanks for posting recipe!

Anonymous said...

I just love having tomatoes on the windowsill to ripen. It makes me feel rich!

Granny J said...

Since the javelina just took my poor single tomato that was developing nicely in its pot, I'm passing this excellent recipe on to a friend who's growing a tomato jungle. I had always heard that tomato foliage was very poisonous; the javelina don't think so.