Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Basil Dried Tomatoes

Yesterday I gave you a tomato recipe that called for dried tomatoes.  Here is how you can oven dry your own when you have an abundance of tomatoes and basil and need to do something with them.  I've planted Cherokee Purple Heirloom and Golden Heirloom tomatoes this year.  Wouldn't they look great dried and saved for winter?

15 firm ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
1 tablespoon dried rosemary (optional)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt

Core and quarter tomatoes, if they are large cut them into 6th's or 8th's.  You do not want them to be taller than your food dehydrator tray.  Place cut tomatoes into a large bowl.  You can choose whether to seed the tomatoes or not.  The moisture surrounding the seeds concentrates into a much deeper flavor.  Why not try it both ways and see which you prefer.

In a small microwave safe bowl combine olive oil and smashed garlic.  Cover bowl with a paper towel and microwave for 15 to 30 seconds.  Oil should be warm, not boiling.  Remove your garlic infused olive oil from the microwave and allow to cool slightly. Remove the smashed garlic from the oil and add chopped fresh basil, dried rosemary and Kosher salt.  Stir to combine well. 

Pour mixture in bowl over cut tomatoes.  Toss gently with your hands or a spoon to combine without bruising the tomatoes.  Your tomatoes will be generously coated in your olive oil mixture.  You could serve them over a bed of spring mix for a nice salad at this point. 

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Line a pan with parchment or Silpat.  Arrange tomatoes and sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper.

Transfer pan to oven; dry until juices have stopped running, edges are shriveled, and pieces have shrunken slightly; timing will vary depending on the variety, ripeness, and desired degree of dryness, 1 1/2 to 6 hours. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
They will have an light olive oil coating and be pliable.  Much like a raisin, they will be dried on the outside and barely fleshy on the inside.

You may choose to use these right away.  If not, you can store them in the refrigerator or freezer in an airtight bag or container for 6 to 9 months.  You can also store them in olive oil in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Tomorrow I'll share one of my favorite soups, tomato basil soup.

Have a super day, be happy and may God bless you and yours.

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