One of the best things about drying tomatoes (especially during the hot days of summer) is that some of my favorite meals can be prepared quite quickly without extensive stove time.
Throughly rinse 3-5 pounds of vine ripened tomatoes (farmer's market tomatoes have the best taste.) The more ripe (red in color), the more flavor, the better.
(I know these are strawberries, but I was doing tomatoes and strawberries @ the same time!)
Cut your tomatoes into 1/2 inch circles or first, halve your tomatoes, then cut them into 1/2 inch slices. I like to use a tomato knife, but any serrated knife will do.
Place tomatoes on the drying tray with a bit of room between each tomato.
This allows the air to cirulate through the dryer so the tomatoes dry evenly.
Admire your work. :)
Place the lid on the dryer and set the temperature to 145 °.
Let the tomatoes dry for 8-10 hours.
When you take off the lid, you should make sure that the tomatoes are totally dry, with no moisture left. You can tell this by pressing the tomatoes. They should be stiff, not squishy, but also, should not crumble apart when you touch them. The tomatoes can be stored in the refridgerator for 2-4 weeks or you can preserve them in sauce, paste, etc. form.
Home-made pizza night is a favorite dinner that utilizes these tomatoes in the form of Chris's Godfather Sauce. The sauce simmers on low and the pizza only takes 15 minutes in the oven! The kitchen stays cool and we get to have a GREAT italian night, even in the summer.
Chris's Godfather Sauce
1/4 cup EVOO
1/2 white onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
Handful of sun-dired tomatoes
1 can of peeled tomatoes (no salt added)
1/2 cup red wine
1 handful of basil, pressed with mortor & pesel to release flavor
Salt & pepper
Put the ingredients in the pan in the order they are listed here.
Allow the onion and sun-dried tomatoes time to cook until its soft before adding the other ingredients. Simmer the sauce for 30 minutes, until its aromatic.
When I asked Chris about his inspiration for the sauce, he sent me this. Silly husband.
Do you have any favortie tomato-drying recipes? What about pizza sauce recipes? Hot summer night recipes?
Wishing you all a tasty summer solstice!