Drying tomatoes in summer makes for good winter cooking

Preserving Tomatoes by dehydration, and then storing them for winter cooking recipes

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:

Bean & Bantam: dehydrating tomatoes

Bean & Bantam: One day's harvest from the garden, from six or eight plants.

IMG_4255

Mason jars of dried tomatoes, dehydrated in August and stored for winter cooking.

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.

Shared on the Chicken Chick’s Clever Chick Blog Hop #175

12 thoughts on “Drying tomatoes in summer makes for good winter cooking

  1. Isn’t it truly the best….to open up a jar of tomatoes, the home-preserved kind, and to be reminded of summer’s bounty. We dry tomatoes as well, and can simple stewed tomatoes….but my favorite? Slow roasted tomatoes with lots of garlic ( sometimes some sweet red peppers) and then canned with olive oil. Oh my, the richness….tomato candy! So happy to hear that you have precious jars of tomatoes left in your pantry until we reach that cycle of growth once again. Right about this time, I begin craving fresh greens. Plenty of blanched chard, kale, and spinach in the deep freeze, but not quite the same. It’ll have to do! Hope winter life over there in the hills of the Green Mountain state is treating you well….denise

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I think it’s worth the effort. I would slice at night, load the dehydrator, set it on a timer (plug in to a timer if the dehydrator doesn’t have) and check in the AM, and if not done, set the timer for more drying.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I dried tomatoes for the first time this year and put them into zip locks in the freezer. It hadn’t occurred to me to use jars. I was just afraid they’d get moldy if I did not keep them cold.
    My favorite use is crumbled up on pizza or crushed in olive oil with garlic to make pesto.

    Like

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