My love affair with home-grown tomatoes goes way back.
The mother of a childhood friend who lived across the street from our family, grew giant beefsteak tomatoes in her backyard.
I remember going over to visit my friend and plucking the heavy, warm from the sun tomatoes from their vine. My friend’s mom would cut them into wedges for us and sprinkle a bit of salt on them.
Then we would languish on her front porch devouring them. The juice would run down our chins and we would lick the salt from our fingers.
Ah, those were the days!
On to my DO-OVER dehydrated tomatoes.
As a person who sometimes likes to rush things, the first time I decided to dehydrate tomatoes to store them for future use, I turned the dehydrator to the highest temperature and cut the tomatoes willy-nilly (they were cut in all different thicknesses).
What I got as a result was:
- some tomatoes were crispy (not a nice eating texture)
- some were still too soft and never really dried properly
- a waste of some really delicious tomatoes!
After some more trials and tribulations and some research, I think I’ve finally figured out how to dehydrate them properly.
Do-over tomatoes – done right!
- remove the stems and wash and dry your tomatoes
- if using fairly small tomatoes, just cut them in half (face the cut sides up on the dehydrator trays)
- if using larger tomatoes, cut them to about 1/4 of an inch thick – try to get them all as evenly thick as possible
- place on your dehydrator trays
- (optional) add a sprinkle of course salt (I was lucky enough to have some salt that was dried by a friend of mine who gathered the salt from the seaside in Santa Pola, Spain)
- Set the dehydrator to 135 degrees F and wait patiently! (they will be done in 10 – 20 hours)
I use my dehydrated tomatoes in sauces (I find they add a sweet, richness to a sauce), in sandwiches, salads and stews.
I even like to eat them right out of the jar!
By the way – I’m actually allergic to tomatoes, but I can’t live without them. I wait all year to eat them from the garden. I just won’t buy store bought tomatoes. I refuse! They just never taste like the tomatoes I remember eating from my neighbour’s garden.
I guess I’m a bit of a tomato snob!
Do you have any childhood tomato memories or preserving tricks?
I’d love you to share!