I have recently started exploring the world of drying. A friend gave us a dehydrator for our wedding and it has been really fun to play with drying different fruits and vegetables. We got the dehydrator last fall after the tomato season, so I was waiting with anticipation for the first plum tomatoes to arrive in the farmers markets this summer. I found some beautiful ones last weekend and got to work making sundried tomatoes.
After washing the tomatoes, I cut them each in half, sprinkled them lightly with sea salt, and popped them in the dehydrator for about 18 hours.
They did shrink considerably in the process, but I still ended up with a nice jar of sundried tomatoes. I am keeping them in the fridge to be safe, but I think they will last quite a while. I might try freezing my next batch so I can be sure they are in tip-top shape to give as holiday gifts this December.
Sundried tomatoes are delicious in many recipes. A few of my favorites are chopping them up with pasta and pesto, layering on sandwiches, or eating with cheese and crackers.
I love preserving food. There is something wonderful about the meditative process of collecting things while they are in the peak of their season and saving them to savor in the freezing winter. It connects to some deep hunter/gatherer instincts inside me. Usually my problem is I preserve way more than I can ever eat!