Monday, July 1, 2013

How to Make Sun Dried Tomatoes

Around this time of year there is an abundance of tomatoes coming from the garden, and sometimes you have to be creative to find ways to use them up before they spoil. A new recipe I tried this year is sun dried tomatoes!

You will need:
- Tomatoes
- Thyme
- Garlic powder
- Salt
- Pepper
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil

First cut the tops off of the tomatoes and then cut them into halves or quarters depending on the size of the tomato. Gently squeeze the tomato pieces so that all of the seeds and liquid seed cavities come out. Lay out the tomato pieces with the skin side down on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Sprinkle on top the garlic powder, salt, pepper, thyme and extra virgin olive oil.

While sun drying them would be nice, our Louisiana humidity would probably make them more wet than they started out, so we are going to dry them in the oven. Bake them on low heat at 200 degrees for 3-4 hours depending on how fleshy your tomatoes are. You can also do this in a toaster oven to use up less energy. When they are done the skins will look wrinkled and leathery, and they will shrink up to half of their original size.

 If you aren't going to eat them all immediately, you can can them. Place the tomato pieces in a mason jar and pack them in tight. Then pour extra virgin olive oil until the tomatoes are completely submerged. The jar must be refrigerated and will stay fresh for two weeks or can be frozen for up to three months.

These taste delicious on crackers, sandwiches, pizza or pasta. Or you can eat the straight on a slice of cucumber (especially if you have a lot of those to eat up as well!).

What recipes are your favorites foe eating up fresh garden produce?