Saturday, August 31, 2013

Dehydrated Tomatoes

I love shopping at the local Farmer’s Market and on Thursday bought a peck of Roma tomatoes with the plan to use the food dehydrator to preserve them.  We don’t have a large freezer and I don’t have a pressure canner so drying seems a good choice.  I cut out the cores and laid the quarter inch slices on the 8 trays – and still have some left so have some sauce started on the stove.  I plan to try this recipe for dried tomatoes with basil in oil.  
Olive Oil Packed Sun Dried Tomatoes with Basil

4 cups dried tomatoes (from about 12-16 cups fresh tomatoes)
1/4 - 1/2 cup olive oil
1 pint canning jar with air tight lid
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

Step One:
Sterilize a pint jar by washing with soapy water and then pouring boiling water over the inside and outside of the jar.  Boil the screw band and lid in hot water. 

Step Two:
Once the jar is dry begin placing the dried tomatoes into the bottom.  Use a clean skewer or spoon to pack the tomatoes together.  Then add a couple sprigs of basil.  Continue layering tomatoes and basil until the jar is full.  Then pour olive oil slowly over the top.

Step Three: 
Insert the skewer or the handle of the spoon down along the sides of the jar five to six times to force any air pockets out.  Make sure the oil completely cover the tomatoes.  Seal with the sterilized lid and band and refrigerate up to one month.

The bonus with packing in olive oil is you get both tomatoes and olive oil flavored with the dried tomatoes. The oil is great for salad dressing, dipping bread or making pasta.

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