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Friday, September 11, 2009

How To Turn A Cute Young Tomato Into A Shriveled Old Crone

You need to make a choice.
Someone offers you this:

and this:

Which one do you eat?
Well if you chose #1 you'd be right.
But if you chose #2, you would also be right.
Because they are the same tomato slice!

As I have said before, we brought home jillions
of lovely big ripe tomatoes from a farm stand on Long Island.

They have been put to good use in sandwiches, salads, and fresh pasta sauce but to preserve their tomato-y goodness without having to actually do any work, I decided to dry some of them.

Like sun-dried tomatoes, only in the oven and not in the sun. I can't imagine putting my tomatoes out in the sun to dry. At least I know my oven will work, and there are no bugs or chipmunks in it.


I washed up some of the Big Berthas among the tomatoes,
cut them in thick slices, and put them on a non-stick cookie sheet.

(I have read that plum and cherry tomatoes work best,
but I didn't have any of those!)

A quick light sprinkle of Kosher salt, and into the oven at 225-degrees:

And they baked:

And baked

And baked:

And baked:

And finally after about 8 hours, and with my poking at them several dozen times and switching the oven temp to 200 and then back to 225, they came out of their incubator, and here's what I had:

Okay, so they don't look like much.
Actually they look pretty darned ugly, like tomatoes only a mother could love.

But -- whoa baby! -- you have to try these.

They have concentrated, intense sweet tomato flavor. Not as dessicated as commercial sundried, so therefore not as tough. I was going to freeze them for winter use, but I know we'll use them up before then, so right now they're just in plastic in the fridge.

I will roast some more, because I still have this:

But meanwhile, fresh raw tomatoes make great pasta sauces, and it only takes minutes, and no recipe. Because with ingredients as good as these, no matter what you do it tastes good.


Start with some onions and fresh garlic, getting cozy with some hot olive oil in a heavy pan:

Cut up some fresh, raw tomatoes -- and I use the skin and seeds, it's just for family, and there's lots of good vitamins and good-for-you things I can't pronounce in all that stuff that real cooks peel off or throw away. Waste not.

Put the tomato chunks in with the onions and garlic, and let them get cozy, too:

If things look a little blurry, it's only because
the camera lens gets foggy from steam!

After just a few minutes, the stuff in the pan looks like this:

Which is excellent, just as it is, but last night we had two leftover grilled hamburger patties, so I chopped them up and added them, and then it looked like this:

Dinner's ready! A little grilled zucchini, a glass of
whatever wine is open, and we're good to go.

Thanks to Michael at Designs by Gollum for hosting Foodie Friday,
one of the most popular and most fun blog parties!

Who doesn't like reading and writing about, and taking pictures of great food?

Click on the icon, or on any highlighted word, to visit Foodie Friday and get your Ummmmm on! -- Cass


  1. This is such a good idea! We have been eating and eating tomatoes because we had lots of them.I should have thought at this to do with them.Then I could have enjoyed them a lot longer. Maybe next year.

  2. Cass,
    Thanks for coming over for a visit.

    Hope you have a great weekend.
    barbara jean

  3. Beautiful! It smells so good when tomatoes are cooking too!

    Remembering that horrible day eight years some ways I hope we never forget...keeping the memories of those that are gone and staying vigilant against evil.

    Becky K.

  4. Thanks for visiting Pandora's Box. I also grew up with milk glass all over the house and never stated appreciating it until I emptied out the family house a few years ago and just couldn't send it to now I have added to the small collection and just love it!!

    Love your photos of the tomatoes (and what a clean oven!! LOL) Tomatoes...another reason to welcome autumn!

    Enjoy the weekend

  5. Yummy. I have been craving home grown tomatoes all summer. We are in Florida this year, while my hubby is finishing up school. Florida is not a good place to grown veggies. Florida does good when it comes to Mangos or oranges, lemons, limes, or avocados but tomatoes grown in sand taste like hot house tomatoes-yuck.

    You left a comment on my blog-Its So Very Cheri, about my framed chalkboard. I hope you come by often, leave lots of comments because that's how I get to know you better and join as a follower and I will do the same. If you want to know more than you ever wanted about me you can click on the G-Force family button on my blog under the header. I look forward to getting to know you better.(if alreafy a follower let me know how you are signed in because I still have a lot of followers I can not reach.)

    Its So Very Cheri

  6. Awesome! I set my laptop down, went to the garden and brought in a gallon of tomatoes (they were still sittin' in the garden as I'd run out of momentum for them) and washed, sliced...salted the put a little basil on top. They're in the oven now.
    Tonight I'm doing your tomato onion thingy. Thanks!

  7. Oh I am going to try that! I bet they were fabulous! We to will never forget and we send all our love and good wishes to the families

  8. I love tomatoes . You have made me hungry. We got a topsy tervey from tv. My tomatoes were few and small and the sqirrels ate most of them when I wasn't looking.But I want to try your dried tomatoe idea. it is great.So have to go find some fresh tomatoes.

  9. Let us know how those dried tomatoes work out.

    That fresh, raw, slice looks sooooo good.

  10. Love your house! My husband used to live in Morris, NJ--a beautiful part of the country I think. I agree with 9/11 comments too. Thanks for these ideas for tomatoes. I will try drying them as I, too, have a bunch that I can't eat fast enough and can't bear to waste them. thanks for visiting my Julia Child dinner post. I just don't know about the peanut butter and jelly:) Have a great weekend and enjoy your tomatoes! ps we have 3 SC spaniels in our family too.

  11. I like roast tomatoes...but I like to have them out somewhere, not like I am going to do it!Great job. All of it looked so whats for dinner tonight?

  12. How great do those look :-). I love roast tomatoes. I also love tomatoes eaten out of hand and straight from the garden. This was a wonderful post. I hope you are having a wonderful day.

  13. Thanks so much for the drying tip. I just went through 20lbs and made huge quantities of sauce. I may get more and would like to try drying them.

    If you have the time, please stop by The Old Parsonage, I love company.


  14. A hole lot of tomatoes!
    I did not think they would turn out ok in the own , but you said they will.

    My mushroom you can eat not possion. MB

  15. These look delicious. I've been wanting to make sun dried or oven dried tomatoes, but my husband and I eat our fresh tomatoes up too quickly.

  16. Dear Cass, please tell your sweet daughter that many of us do remember, and will never forget September 11. I nearly wept this morning when I saw an elderly couple wearing their matching American flag T-shirts while shopping at WalMart. I felt a little sad that I had not thought to wear my red white and blue, also, but my heart was warmed by their display of patriotism. I'm sure they touched a few other hearts this morning, also.
    xo, Andrea

  17. Hi~ ~We just love these in the winter when a really good tomato is out of the question. I've been drying up tomatoes too. Got a food dehydrator at a yard sale a few years ago. One of the best bargains I ever got. I highly recommend it.
    ~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

  18. Simply gorgeous!

    I dried a ton of toms this year and ground them up for tomato powder. It was messy..messy..messy but if it works out I will do it again!

  19. In my little town in Ark., we held a memorial service again today and released doves in memory of the 9-11 victims. It's a day none of us should ever forget.
    I'll be trying to dry some tomatoes this weekend. (They are ugly though!) Thanks for the idea. I'm going to miss tomatoes so much when the season is over. laurie

  20. Hi Cass,

    I just adore tomatoes...just can't get enough of them!

    Thanks for sharing your fabulous drying project with the Big Berthas!They look fantastic, and will be wonderful on homemade pizza. I have a boatload of cherry tomatoes that will have a similar fate of turing into dried ruby nuggets!

    I appreciate your sweet comments and visits to Rose Cottage. I am so glad you come by for a visit or two. Your visits are such an encouragement! Thank you!

    Have a wonderful weekend, and hope you had enough revenue from your porch sale to order a pizza!

    Debbykay at Rose Cottage Gardens and Farm


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