I fell victim to Soviet-era shopping this morning and we have a lot of tomatoes. We have a dehydrator. I can certainly peel the tomatoes and dice them and make sauce. Suppose I dry them instead. Then what? What do I do with them? Dried tomatoes aren’t an ingredient I use often.
In the context of “oh look, a line, I better get in it” or “there’s stuff so let’s buy stuff.” sigh I’ve been pretty well-behaved on the whole. I just went over the top on tomatoes and I WILL NOT ALLOW THEM TO BECOME COMPOST. I have about four days before I have to decide what to do and peel/dice/can is always an option. I am looking for something a little different (for us).
What kind of tomatoes? I only “sun dry” tomatoes without much moisture or seeds; typically plum tomatoes, but also those like “dwarf purple heart” and Principe Borghese. You can literally sun dry Principe Borghese, figs, apricots, and some peppers where I live. I do others in a low oven .
I think of sun-dried and dehydrated as different, and find myself using sun-dried more spontaneously. I think of them as moister, more perishable, and what I reach for in something I’m not cooking. Maybe a sandwich or a spread.
I use the truly dehydrated most recently as a powder, when wanting to add more body to a tomato based sauce. What I’m using right now is purchased, and comes in VERY handy, but last year I made powder from tomato skins.
Slow roast them, whole, in olive oil and garlic until they collapse and concentrate. They can be used as sauce or a condiment. Example: season fish fillets, add topping, bake. You can change things up by roasting in different batches. Add mushrooms to one, eggplant chunks to another, cipollini to yet another. Freeze in small baggies. Then you can thaw, and combine if you wish, depending on what you are making.
Feels like about 10 pounds / 4.5 kg. We have a good bit of mozzarella so Caprese salad may be a regular for a while. I am branching out with dehydration. We do lots of herbs and I do bananas sometimes.
I dehydrate a lot of tomatoes in the fall when the garden is booming. Some I half dry and freeze, delicious in the winter in sandwiches etc. then I dry slices until crispy and very dry, perfect to crumble into and over things and keep very well. I dehydrate to conserve freezer space for the slow roasted ones for cooking all winter. We do like tomatoes!
Also I love the slowly roasted tomatoes that taste like candy almost - great for snacking on, as a tart filling, with pasta (very intense “sauce” just smashed a bit into hot pasta with some of the pasta water), or compressed and intensified perfectly to freeze for later. Olive oil and garlic are what I add, for flexibility later, but you can add herbs of your choice