Sunday, September 6, 2009

Regeneration, with dehydrated tomatoes

I won't say I'll never eat another fresh tomato, but today I was tempted. There is nothing in the tomato-world to compare with garden-fresh tomatoes (of which we currently have a huge superabundance thanks to our local Tomatoman, my dad), dehydrated into chewy perfection. In the past we've usually frozen our excess tomatoes for sauce, but this year I'm experimenting with dehydrating, both in the oven, as here, and in the 30-year-old family dehydrator which is currently in my possession as the person-most-likely-to-use. More on the dehydrator later. These were little tumbler tomatoes, too small for the dehydrator, and since I've only cut them in half rather than in slices, maybe too thick and juicy as well. Here they are again after approximately 6 hours in the oven at 175F:

They're not fully crispy because I plan to use them just like this, all chewy and caramelized and sweet. And oh, are they sweet! Here they are topping a Ryvita cracker and the disappointing dust of Rebar falafel burgers (uncooked) magically rejuvenated into a killer spread with the addition of some tahini, lots of lemon, salt and pepper, and a little water to make it creamy:

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