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(This summer I dried tomatoes which I had grown, placed
them in olive oil with garlic and discovered a wonderful

fresh plum tomatoes, picked
fully ripe with no yellow
or green spots and no
bruises (you may substitute
ripe cherry tomatoes with
excellent results)
Why dry tomatoes? After drying a tomato, what is left
is a shriveled, leathery tomato with a concentrated taste that
is so good it has to be sampled to be believed!
There are two ways to successfully dry tomatoes at home:
Dehydrator: (A dehydrator moves warm heat around the
food at a constant temperature until all moisture is extracted
and food is shriveled.) First cut the washed and dried tomatoes
in half lengthwise and place them cut side down on the drying
racks that come with the dehydrator. Do not crowd too many
tomatoes onto each rack. When racks are filled, place the
cover on the dehydrator, turn on the switch as directed in
instruction booklet and check periodically. This process can
take 1 to 3 days, depending on size of tomatoes. For cherry
tomatoes, the procedure is the same, but the drying time is
about 1 day.
Oven Method: Place cut tomatoes plum and/or cherry on
cookie sheets and then on the racks. Here too, it is important
that heat circulate all around the tomatoes. Set the oven to
225 degrees and rotate racks for even drying. This takes about 2 days
or a little longer.
To store for indefinite shelf life, either place dried
tomatoes in freezer bags and freeze or pack the dried tomatoes
in layers into clean jars filled with good quality olive oil,
making sure all tomatoes are COMPLETELY covered by oil.
To the latter method, you can add a few fresh leaves of
basil for color, then store in tightly capped jars in a cool
dark place.
Note: The oil-packed tomatoes are essential when used
as part of an antipasto, wonderful in pasta salads and sensa-
tional on pizza. The frozen ones are better for use in soup
and cannelloni, in sauces and baked breads and calzoni.

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