Saturday, September 1, 2012

Tomatoes - Garden Fresh and Oven Dried


Earlier in the summer,  I mentioned that it was going to be a busy season for me and I that may not be posting or able to comment as often as I'd like.  One of the events that made it a busy, but fun, summer was a destination wedding that my husband and I attended in the Colorado mountains last weekend.  We had been to the Rockies on ski trips when our daughters were still living at home but we had never been in the mountains during summer.  We were blown away at how beautiful it was!

We were able to visit a couple of outdoor markets while we were there and I have to tell you that the Colorado produce was fantastic.  We were served a dessert with fresh, Colorado peaches that rivaled any other peach I've ever tasted.  The tomatoes were also amazing.  No wonder, since Colorado boasts that it has 300 sunny days a year.


With our hot, dry and sunny summer, my tomatoes have been enjoying a very productive season also.  Even though it takes lots of TLC to keep them watered this year, they do love the heat and non-humid conditions which is not our norm living next to Lake Michigan.


My cherry tomato plant is particularly happy and I recently made some oven dried tomatoes with them. They are especially good in pasta dishes and also salads as they aren't as hard as commercially dried tomatoes.


I've made oven dried tomatoes several times before, but the technique I used this time was borrowed from A View from Great Island. The thing I liked most about her method was that she gently squeezed out most of the liquid and seeds from each tomato half before putting them in the oven which allows them to dry in the oven even better.

The Method:

Preheat Oven to 200F

1.  Halve the tomatoes and squeeze each half to release some of the juices and pulp.  

2.  Place in a bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and toss gently.

3.  Place cut side up on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.  

4.  Bake and dry for about 4 hours or so in the preheated oven.

5.  Pack in a clean jar with some sprigs of rosemary, and then fill the jar with olive oil to use later or, as I did, after they are cool, freeze them on the baking sheet and then put into plastic freezer bags to use all winter.

55 comments:

  1. What a lovely destination for a wedding. The views must have been fantastic. I did Sue's oven dried cherry tomatoes as well. One word of caution, they don't last long--at least they didn't in my house. We ate them like candy!!

    Nice to see you back.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  2. I love your cake stand tomato display and this looks like a great way to save them. I may propose to Bev again just so we can go get married in such a beautiful spot.

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  3. Those tomatoes look so beautiful. The color is amazing. We love Colorado in the summer and we're close enough that those Colorado peaches are available in our stores! Looks like a perfect place for a wedding. Hope you're having a wonderful Labor Day weekend.

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  4. Your tomatoes are beautiful and I love how you displayed them on a pedestal plate. Drying the cherry tomatoes is a great way to preserve them. Now, I wish I'd planted cherry tomatoes this year. Hope you're having a great weekend,
    Babs

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  5. love these tomatos and the first pictures are besutiful really beauty:)

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  6. Aren't our Summertime mountains just fabulous. I haven't been skiing in years, so don't go up in the Winter, or even want to, but look forward to many Summer trips in the high country. So fortunate to have a vacation paradise in my back yard. I happen to think it's spectacular. Gorgeous photos of food and scenery.

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    1. You are very fortunate to have such beauty in your back yard, Lea Ann!

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  7. Great photos !! The way the tomatoes display on the pedestal plate is so pretty. Sounds like you are having an enjoyable Summer.

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  8. Love your first shot Susan, it's just gorgeous! Sounds like you're having a fantastic summer-enjoy:@)

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  9. Susan, Lovely composition! I'm glad you joined the group! Hugs <3

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  10. Susan, so happy to see you posting. Your photos are gorgeous. I am going to roast some tomatoes following your recipe. xo

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  11. The way you used the cake stand to set up the tomatoes is inspired. Just so pretty and unique. I have a lot of cherry tomatoes right now as well, though we are enjoying them daily and so far eating them as we go. I even gave a lot of them away today, but perhaps if I build up a stockpile I can try this method.

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  12. wow Susan, the tomato clicks are stunning! Love your oven dried tomatoes.

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  13. A dream wedding destinatiin my friend :D
    And your garden tomatoes are stunning! I love your idea of preserving them in such a flavoursome manner!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  14. a glorious display of tomatoes at their peak of freshness! Colorado is one state that I love, with a breathtaking beauty that reminded me of Lebanon when i first visited. Have a great time!

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  15. stunning photos for a really lovely recipe, I love dry tomatoes! Have a nice Sunday my dear, hugs....

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  16. Looks like a wonderful wedding, love those boots. The tomatoes are beautiful! Great idea to take take out the seeds. I'm sad I didn't get to grow any this year.
    Happy Birthday to your daughter :)

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  17. Look at all those beautiful tomatoes. Wow. I've never dried tomatoes. Love all of your photos from out west. Hope you have a long and leisurely weekend.
    Sam

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  18. GORGEOUS! This is the only way I preserve my tomatoes. DEADLY DELISH!
    I usually add garlic, olive oil and maldon salt and dry them for 48 hours at 170 degrees F. YUMMMMMMM
    :)
    V

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  19. Mmmmm....we love oven roasted tomatoes...the intensity of the flavor is wonderful. Your dried ones look delicious! I'll have to try this! What a great way to use up cherry tomatoes, too!

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  20. Happy Labor Day to you and your readers! Richard

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  21. What a gorgeous spot for a wedding, thanks for sharing the photos!!

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  22. Cherry tomatoes dried in the oven are so sweet that they almost taste like candy. I really enjoyed the photos...I have never been to that part of the country.

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  23. Cherry tomatoes dried in the oven are so sweet that they almost taste like candy. I really enjoyed the photos...I have never been to that part of the country.

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  24. I can't wait to make them! lovely tutorial

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  25. Thanks for sharing oven drying here. I use a big dehydrator, but when tomatoes are on the oven is a great addition to get 'em done!

    Loving Colorado too...

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  26. I love this idea and have no idea why I've never done it! Definitely trying if I get a good deal of tomatoes in this week's CSA :)

    I went to a wedding at Beaver Creek a few years back and it was beautiful!

    Sues

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  27. Gorgeous tomatoes, Susan! Great idea for drying them, too. I know you are busy, but I am hoping that you will have time to answer a question for me. When you take the frozen tomatoes out to use them, do you add olive oil and herbs to them and let them sit for a bit or do you use them as they are? And one more thing, but it's a statement, not a question. Your side bar makes me crazy every time I come here. There are so many beautiful, delicious looking pictures and I always get distracted by them before I can even look at your latest post.

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    1. Thank you, Terri, you are very kind! When I use them as an ingredient in a cooked or baked recipe I use them just as they come out of the freezer (thawed first, of course). If you plan on using them as a relish or something similar, then I think a little olive oil added would be a great idea.

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  28. Susan, what a beautiful place for a wedding! Love the photo of the boots you wore ;o) The chocolate cherry tomato seeds that you gave me two years ago are still going strong. They reseed themselves.

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  29. Love the wedding pics, Susan.
    Roasting tomatoes results in amazing sweetness, doesn't it? I love them. Have never tried Sue's method though.

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  30. Beautiful picture of the wedding Susan...and the tomatoes look great...what a great idea to use the oven to try them...yum!
    Hope you are enjoying your week Susan :)

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  31. I also make oven dried tomatoes and I know how delicious they are! Have a great time Susan and happy birthday to your daughter!

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  32. It's great that you had a wonderful time, and lovely photos! Your way of making the oven-dried tomatoes sounds wonderful, once I made them by drying in the oven for 8 hours. I will definitely try your method! Thanks for sharing!

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  33. Please take time away from the computer and enjoy all family and friends' events. Winter will be here and we'll be stuck at home by the computers soon, we'll catch up :)
    I should try this , can you freeze them later?

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    1. That's very kind, Ilke. Thank you :) Yes, I do freeze them after they cool.

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  34. My son graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder and I had the opportunity to visit that area many times. It is truly spectacular and your photos capture it beautifully, Susan. I've roasted lots of tomatoes in the oven but have never dried them. Now is certainly the time to try it.

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  35. I love your beautiful tomato centerpiece with the petunias blooming in the background! I can just taste that roasted tomato goodness! Love your Colorado mosaics~ enjoy the remaining days of summer :)

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  36. Oh my gosh, those tomatoes are stunning! I never thought about oven drying tomatoes-It may be because I can never get enough from my garden (sigh). I will remember this one.

    Welcome home!

    Velva

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  37. As you know my husband and I will be moving to Colorado in the coming year and we are looking forward to exploring all this beautiful state has to offer!

    I like your idea of preserving your cherry tomatoes by drying them --they must tatse so sweet and good!

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  38. You've got these beauties in your garden. :) I got my tomato plant late this year and they are still green on the vine. Can't wait to harvest them.

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  39. I love Colorado! It is one of the most beautiful places in the world and I love the feeling of being so close to nature! It must have been an amazing wedding. I'm looking trying this technique of drying tomatoes. I like the idea of freezing them.

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  40. Looks amazing - plus Colorado looks simply gorgeous. Unfortunately I have a black thumb and plants don't like me :( Those cherry tomatoes you grew look perfect though.

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  41. Love your tomato display, very artistic!
    The wedding looks lovely.

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  42. OMG am I glad you posted this. My tomato plant went crazy this summer. This weekend I oven dried 3 baking sheets using your method. (I did add some minced garlic.)
    These are fantastic! I now have 3 bags in the freezer. Thank you for posting.

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    1. I'm glad you liked how they turned out, Kat. Great idea to add the garlic. You'll love having these in your freezer!

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  43. Oh Susan, that opening photos is truly amazing!!!!! My oh my... wow!

    Btw, we've been enjoying the batch of Habanero Gold Jelly I made (thanks to your post). I blogged about it today - hope you'll stop by for a quick visit.

    Take Care,
    Patricia

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    1. Thanks for letting me know, Patricia! I've got to make some more of that delicious stuff.

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  44. Dear Susan,

    I love tomatoes and the dried ones have such sweet and intense flavours which are absolutely brilliant with sandwiches, pasta and stews. This recipe is so simple too!

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  45. what a beautiful location!!! the first shot is perfection. thank you for sharing!!

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  46. Muy ricos y lindos sus tomates buena técnica de secado lo haré ,fotos maravillosas ,hugs,hugs.

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  47. I missed this post, we had gone on a short vacation back to Hilton Head again! I love sun dried tomatoes, I use them a lot in my cooking!

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