With a small bag full of extra late-season tomatoes, mostly of the Roma and cherry varieties, I knew just how I wanted to preserve the bounty. A few years ago I made the rather frivolous purchase of a food dehydrator, which I’ve probably used fewer than half a dozen time since. But I knew it would be the perfect appliance to make faux sun-dried tomatoes. So I sliced all my tomatoes in half, sprinkled just a bit of salt onto the cut sides, and then let the dehydrator have at them. The little red and orange cherry tomatoes dried out first, so I pulled them out after a few hours. Then the larger yellow Dr. Carolyn cherries finished, followed by the yellow Mystery Tomatoes. Finally, after many hours, the meaty Romas had been reduced to crinkly little packets of concentrated flavor.
I haven’t decided how I’m going to store these tomatoes. I like the idea of storing them in olive oil, maybe with some garlic and spices, the way you see sun-dried tomatoes sold commercially. But I’m also unfamiliar with the food safety issues surrounding oil storage. Katy at the Dirty Radish blog is freezing hers. Freezing is certainly the easiest option. And since dehydrating the tomatoes caused them to have a very small volume, they won’t take up much room in my almost-chock-full freezer. Then again, at the rate I’m stealing these little tomato raisins for snacking, storage may not be much of an issue anyway.