Anne Moore has a new dehydrator or food dryer. I am so envious. She has already used it to dry tomatoes from her garden and some herbs as well. The tomatoes looked wonderful and I know that she will enjoy being able to prolong her garden through drying.
This brought back memories of going to cooking classes at The Greenbrier where Michael Chiarello was one of the instructors for the week. He cooked a lot with oven dried tomatoes which won’t be exactly the same because Michael dried his tomatoes in the oven with olive oil and herbs. Anne’s tomatoes will be a little drier because of the dehydration process. Of course you can put them in olive oil and herbs to store them and you’ll end up with almost the same product. I’ve written the recipes with that in mind.
Once the tomatoes are oven dried you can toss them with pasta and serve with a good cheese grated over the top. Unfortunately, it will take about 6 hours to dry them in the oven, but it will be well worth it to dry in the oven if you don’t have a dehydrator.
To can-If you dehydrate the tomatoes just pack them tightly in olive oil and add a tiny bit of lemon juice, then process the tomatoes for 45 minutes following your canner’s manufacturer’s instructions.
If you don’t have a dehydrator and you’d like the oven dried recipe version, please e-mail me and I will gladly send it to you.
Dried Tomatoes in Olive Oil
Pack the dried tomatoes into a sterilized jar, pushing them down hard. Fill the jar with extra-virgin olive oil. Keep refrigerated and use from the jar. The olive oil will congeal in most cases and if you need to use some of the oil for flavoring then just take it out with a spoon and let it come to room temperature.
Uptown Tomato Spread
Use dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped on a log of Chevre (goat cheese). Pour a little of the tomatoes olive oil on top. Top with 1 clove finely chopped garlic and fresh chopped basil. Serve with good crackers. I like to place watercress on a plate and then the goat cheese on top.
Vegetable Soup Mix- using all dehydrated vegetables
Sun-dried Tomato Bread-
This white bean salad recipe is from our Greenbrier class and Michael Chiarella, with just a few changes.
White Bean and Oven Dried Tomato Salad with Fresh Mozzarella
1 cup dried cannellini beans
1 stalk celery
1 quart plus 1 quart cold water
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or to taste
Bring the beans and one quart cold water to a boil. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Strain and discard water. Bring second quart of water to boil with all the above ingredients; simmer very slowly until very tender. Season beans with salt and pepper before done. Make sure seasoning is complete before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste.
8 slices fresh mozzarella in water
1/2 cup dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained and chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil from dried tomatoes
Warm the beans with 1/4 cup bean liquid, garlic and thyme. Add drained dried tomatoes until just warm. Take off the heat, toss in oven dried tomato oil and parsley and lemon zest. Arrange on plates, lay slices of fresh mozzarella on top and serve immediately.
By Joan Casanova, Bonnie Plants,
Photographs courtesy of Bonnie Plants
Temperatures are rising and high heat can wreak havoc in the vegetable garden. When temps climb to the upper 80's and sometimes soar into the 90's and 100's, plants need some assistance in fending off the Fahrenheit.
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