Thursday, December 04, 2008

1001 Kitchen tips # 39 - Oven dried tomatoes

Peel your tomatoes (plum are best for this - but whatever type you use they should be ripe and tasty!). Then you set up a production line:

  1. Trim the tops and bottoms
  2. Remove the seeds - run the knife around the inside/ seeds and remove them. This way the flesh should remain whole
  3. Lay the tomato flesh out flat on oven trays
  4. Sprinkle with maldon or Halen Mon salt, pepper and olive oil. Not too much salt - because as they dry, they reduce in size, so the salt will be more intense.
  5. You can dry overnight in the oven at 50 oC, in a drying oven of an aga, or (if you're in a hurry) in a normal oven at 150 oC for an hour - an hour and a half, turning the tray round half way through so they don't burn. Keep the door slightly ajar, so steam is allowed to escape.

Done like this above they are great in terrines.

You can also just slice them quite thickly and dry them in the same way - great for salads, pasta, fish pie, and so many other uses.

The middles and ends, shown above can be cooked down to become tomato sauce (the universal kitchen sauce) or ketchup. Or use them raw to make gaspacho.

2 comments:

Tangled Noodle said...

Wonderful! The instructions I've found so far for drying tomatoes usually involve a dehydrator so I much prefer to use an appliance I already have. What is the best way to store them and how long will they keep? This might determine how much I'd make at a time. Thanks for this great tip!

James said...

I normally just make them as I need them. They keep up to 5 - 7 days in the fridge. If you want to keep them for longer, put in a jar and cover with olive oil. Make sure they are covered though - any bits poking out will grow mould. As the olive oil chills it may create white pearl like lumps - that's natural as the oil cools. As soon as it's brought up to room temperature again they dissappear. If you're putting them in olive oil you could also add garlic, rosemary, thyme or marjoram etc.