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How to Home-Dry Tomatoes and a Farmer’s Frittata Recipe

How to Home-Dry Tomatoes and a Farmer’s Frittata Recipe

September 28, 2021

By: Terri Rozema

 



 Last year around this time I was fiendishly canning our tomatoes, yet I wanted other options for preservation. Since I’m a sun-dried tomato junkie, I thought I would give it a shot. I knew that actually sun-drying them wasn’t an option, so I did my research and decided to dehydrate. It worked out deliciously splendid and so simple. It’s been almost a year and I still am enjoying my home-dried tomatoes.

There are many reasons why I love dried tomatoes. Maybe it’s their super-concentrated savory-sweetness, the pleasure of each chewy bite, or the vast diversity of uses. The flavors will be more complex and the texture more exciting if several varieties are dried at the same time.

There are many dehydrators on the market. I happen to have a Breville Smart Oven Air, which has dehydration capabilities; but If I were going to purchase one it would most likely be an Excalibur. If you don’t have a dehydrator, no problem. Directions for oven drying will be listed after the dehydration method.


Home-Dried Tomatoes - Dehydrator Method



You will need:

  • A dehydrator 
  • Organic heirloom tomatoes 
  • Salt

 

Directions:

  1. Rinse tomatoes and pat dry.
  2. If using plum tomatoes, slice in half; if using round tomatoes, cut into quarters. Carefully scrape out the seeds while leaving the flesh intact.
  3. If the tomatoes are really large, cut them into smaller sections.
  4. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  5. Set temperature to 135 F. Lay tomatoes on dehydration racks, ensuring they are not touching. Allow 1 to 2 inches in between racks for optimal dehydration.
  6. The drying time will vary depending on the dehydrator. It could take 7-15 hours or more if the tomatoes are larger.
  7. Turn the tomatoes and rotate the racks periodically.
  8. The tomatoes will turn a darker color and are ready when they are dry but still flexible. Do a touch test; the tomatoes shouldn’t feel sticky.
  9. Some tomatoes may dry earlier than others; remove the dried ones periodically while leaving the others to finish.
  10. Vacuum seal and store in the freezer. To use, thaw and place in a pint or quart jar covered with olive oil. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

 

Home-Dried Tomatoes - Oven Method

You will need:

  • An oven
  • Organic heirloom tomatoes 
  • Salt

 

Directions:

  1. Rinse tomatoes and pat dry.
  2. If using plum tomatoes, slice in half; if using round tomatoes, cut into quarters. Carefully scrape out the seeds while leaving the flesh intact.
  3. If the tomatoes are really large, cut them into smaller sections.
  4. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  5. Set the baking temperature to the lowest possible for your oven.
  6. Lay tomatoes on a cookie sheet, ensuring they are not touching.
  7. The drying time will vary depending on your oven. It may take 3-7 hours.
  8. Flip the tomatoes and rotate the racks periodically.
  9. The tomatoes will turn a darker color and are ready when they are dry but still flexible. Do a touch test; the tomatoes shouldn’t feel sticky.
  10. Some tomatoes may dry earlier than others; remove the dried ones periodically while leaving the others to finish.

 

To store: Place tomatoes in a pint or quart canning jar and cover with olive oil. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

 

Wondering how to incorporate home-dried tomatoes into your meals? I love them on pizza, as a hummus topper, added to cheese dips, folded into cold pasta salads, tossed into a hot pasta dish, and inside frittatas. Speaking of frittatas, I wanted to share my newest recipe.



Farmer's Frittata

 

You will need:

  • 11” oven-proof skillet
  • 8 pastured eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 large organic onion, chopped
  • A protein of choice: I used 1 cup of apple and gouda sausage, but bacon, pancetta or ham would taste great. (Keep in mind, bacon and pancetta can be pretty salty, so less salt is needed in the egg mixture.)
  • 1/2 cup fresh organic green beans
  • 1/2 cup organic sweet peppers
  • 1/3 cup chopped home-dried tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. grass-fed butter, tallow, or organic olive oil
  • 3 cups grated cheese (I used a blend of cheddar & gouda)
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped chives, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Dr. Cowan’s Garden Threefold Blend Savory
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dr. Cowan’s Garden Leek or Wild Ramp Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dr. Cowan’s Garden Turmeric Powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon Dr. Cowan’s Garden Threefold Blend Spicy (optional - if you like spice)
  • Salt and pepper to taste.


Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (use convection if possible).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and Dr. Cowan’s powders; set aside.
  3. Generously grease the skillet and set aside.
  4. If using bacon or pancetta, fry in a separate pan until crispy, dry on a paper towel and set aside.
  5. Wipe pan.
  6. Add 1 Tbsp. fat of choice and 1 Tbsp. of the home-dried tomato olive oil into the pan.
  7. On medium-high, sauté onions and peppers until translucent.
  8. Add the beans and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  9. Reduce heat to medium, add the garlic and sauté until fragrant (30 seconds to a minute). Do not allow the garlic to brown or burn.
  10. Remove veggies from the pan and allow to cool.
  11. To the egg mixture, add room-temperature protein of choice, cooled sautéed vegetables, dried tomatoes, cheese, chives, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  12. Pour mixture into a greased skillet and bake for 30-40 minutes, depending on your oven. When the center of the frittata is not jiggly, it is properly baked. Allow resting for 10 minutes prior to serving. Garnish with freshly chopped herbs.




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