Tuesday 13 August 2019

Vine ripened, dried tomatoes

I guess they not sun dried, but were ripened in the sun. I found myself with a sudden glut of tomatoes. Two bowels this size that were so ripe they would not last more than a couple days. Some bordering on being past how I like them.

So I picked them and took out the small cherry tomatoes. These I simply washed, put into a freezer bags and stored in the freezer. (Deep freeze for those that need translation) This I have done for years. I find that I eat a lot of bean, kale and leek based stews in fall, and a bag of frozen vine ripe tomatoes makes that meal.

For the larger tomatoes. I sliced then up and put them in my dehydrator I bought last year. It takes a  fair amount of closet space, but it was a great buy. In fact, I bought a cheap one, not being sure I would really use it. I now regret that, and should have gone for a more commercial quality with stainless steel racks etc. I am also considering a smoker to use as a dryer (more storage)

The multiple colours and ribbing on heirloom tomatoes is simply beautiful, fresh and dried. The smell in the house, amazing! After about 24 hours, the tomatoes seemed dry. 2 trays stuffed a 500ml Mason jar with dried tomatoes and I ended up with 6 bottles worth from my harvest. I decided to try take it a bit further for a few bottles. 3 I put into the oven for 30 min (at a bit too high a temp) and "roasted them" both to be double sure they were dry and to create a vacuum. These burnt a little on the outside, but have a smokey flavour now. Perhaps at a much lower temp next time, although these are going to be good in stew!

I dried some basil and sage as well and will cut some lovage and parsley as well to dry. Now I am thinking paprika!!! The Kurtovska Kapija peppers I bought in Croatia last year are all ripe and are not sweat (so maybe I got some other seed??? its was commercial packaging or did I ix up labels and this is Espelette?) as I thought, but have a mild  bit of heat. I think I am going to use this dehydrator a lot more.

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