Monday, September 20, 2010

Oven dried tomatoes - enough to last me through the winter

Each time we drive to or from Tahoe during the daytime, we stop at this one farm stand in Davis, not for the produce necessarily, nothing is organic, but for this Middle Eastern and Asian drink that comes with many different names and grosses out 95% of Americans. It's just yoghurt mixed with salt and water. I've had it as Ayran (Turkish), Salt Lassi (Indian) and Doogh (Iran). And I could drink it every day, except that the sodium content would probably kill me over time.

Anyways, I digress. So the reason we go there is not the produce, but this time they had something that was too good to pass - a whole box of Roma tomatoes for $4.99. I didn't weigh it, but it was at least 20 pounds, if not more. Not organic, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. And winter is coming closer, and there is nothing better than a nice tomato sauce in the middle of the winter with beautiful oven dried tomatoes. Or better yet, the Albondigas I described here a few months ago.

I started with halving the tomatoes, and sprinkling them with salt (on all of them), and herbs and garlic in different mixtures on different sheets.

Off in the oven they went, with convection, at about 200 F. I'm not usually too concerned about the temperature, if you do it a bit hotter they get nice and caramelized, low temperature they are just dried.

Not only is Tahoe nice and dry, I also have this monster oven in the kitchen there, had I had more sheets I could have roasted even more in one go. What you're looking at here is perhaps 1/3 of the tomatoes in the box, btw.

I let them in there for different amounts of time, for different purposes. These guys here

were in for about 2 hours, and you can see that they are still relatively juicy. However, the juice is getting concentrated, so they are much tastier than they were when I put them in the oven. I cooled them, remembered my rant from last time, slipped the skin off, put them in old yoghurt containers and froze them.

You can also go for well dried. Which is what I did here, by first drying them as the ones above, and then leaving them in the oven overnight, with the fan on:

Most of the liquid is gone, and they are perfect one bite snacks. I put some of them in oil and stashed them in the fridge as antipasti or cut up in omelette or in salad. Some of them we took hiking, and some of them went in the freezer as well. I guess you can dry them longer if you like the hard leathery ones you can buy, but I was happy with these nice juicy morsels.

I envy all of you that have tomatoes in their back yard btw!


  1. Beautiful Silke. They look really yummy. $5 for 20 pounds of tomatoes is like it's free LOL.

  2. Yes, I know, that's why I got them even though they weren't organic. I figured they're still more healthy than the organic stuff that's canned....