Just recently, I cracked open a jar of dried tomatoes and the smell as I opened that jar was like summer. I swooned just a little, remembering. I buttered a baking dish, and in it I combined a jar of dried tomatoes with a pound of boiled spiral shaped pasta, tossed with olive oil, sea salt, a half a cup of finely chopped basil and a quarter cup of chopped parsley, then I topped it all with two cups of shredded mozzarella cheese. I baked it for 20 minutes at 350. Simple and delicious; the tomatoes were soft, sweet and full of flavor, their sugars concentrated.
It was then I was sure that the slicing and the drying and the packing into jars, all of the labor in the summer heat to preserve these, was well worth it. Some pictures from this past summer:
We grew Big Beef tomatoes, and they produced and produced, and then produced some more. To dry them, I sliced each tomato into slices about 1/4 inch thick, and then dried in an Excalibur 9-tray dehydrator, which I picked up second-hand.
I still have almost a dozen jars left which should be enough to last until tomato season begins again… here’s hoping.