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September 13, 2010

Oven Dried Tomatoes

Oven drying is a great way to move literally pounds of large cherry type tomatoes (or any tomato for that matter) from the garden into a manageable yet flavorful form for future use. Dehydrating them in the oven concentrates the tomato flavors which become delious additions to soups, stews, chilli, toasted breads, fresh cheeses, and savory sandwiches like turkey bacon or blt's. My favorite way to eat the so far is in-between toasted focacia with fresh goat cheese (chevre) a sprinkle of salt and pepper, with bacon and fresh oven baked turkey. Turkey season i just arous the corner too so I suggest you get to oven drying.

Oven Drying:
Set oven to 200 degrees F. 
 In a bowl or plastic bag add 2 tbsp salt,1 tbsp onion powder, 1 tbsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp pepper, 1 tbsp sugar. Mix thoroughly and set aside. 
Wash and Dry tomatoes.
line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or foil.
Place tomatoes on pan(s) loosely leaving room because you are going to cut them in half next and this will result in a full tray of halves. 
Sprinkle tomatoes with seasoning and chopped fresh basil
Drizzle tomatoes lightly with olive oil (optional)
Place in oven for 3 and 1/2 hours or until they are dehydrated to your taste and consistency. 
NOTE: May take up to 8 hours depending on your oven so play around with the temperature until you get what works for you. After this process I freeze the tomatoes or pack some in a jar with more olive oil and fresh basil then refrigerate.