When I was three years old, tomatoes were my least favorite food. I vividly remember sitting on the kitchen counter while my mother offered my a slice of the sweet summer fruit. I took a small bite of the squishy, slimy substance, but I quickly spit it out. In fact, the tomato frustrated me so deeply, that I promptly ripped off my velcro shoe, causing my left front tooth to fall out. For the next three years, I lived without a front tooth.
I deeply wish that you do not feel the same way about tomatoes. In August alone, I’ve harvested twenty pounds of these monsters from my family’s garden. Thank goodness I’ve gotten over my tomato aversion.
Prepare yourselves for a few tomato recipes; they are invading our kitchen like the air force. Last summer, I made tomato sauce, but I didn’t have much success. Mom isn’t into canning, and I don’t have the patience to learn at the moment. So, what’s the fastest way to shrink your bounty? Dehydrate!
Here’s the process
1. Slice the outside skins and 1/2 inch of flesh from 3 pounds of tomatoes
2. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Then dehydrate at 200 degrees for 6 hours.
3. After 6 hours, increase the temperature to 250 degrees for two hours.
4 Turn the oven off and go out to dinner. Be absent for 4 hours
5. Turn the oven on again, convection at 250, and dehydrate for two more hours.
6. Cool completely, transfer to a pristine jar, with a few thyme sprigs, cover with amazing olive oil.
The process is obviously an art, not a science. You dehydrate the tomatoes until they are firm and chewy. It’s a feel thing. Despite the time they require, these oven-dried tomatoes involve no stress because your oven will do all of the work. After your undetermined drying time, you will have the freshest, oil-packed tomatoes that you’ve ever tasted.