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familiar with my oft-stated disgust for tomatoes is probably a little
taken aback by this tutorial but I have found that almost everyone who
shares my revulsion for the nightshades in their seedy, chunky, gloppy
form (seriously, I feel faint) have some conditions in which tomatoes
are not only fine, they are delicious. I am one of those people. I love
salsa and marinara (as long as it’s there is a minimum of chunky
action) and I also love sun-dried tomatoes. This is why we grow
tomatoes every year. Sun-dried tomatoes are full of bright, rich,
summery flavor without triggering my gag reflex like regular ol’
tomatoes. They are great to add on salads, into hummus, in vegan
omelets, on sandwiches and more. If you’re used to the oil-drenched
marinated sun-dried tomatoes or the too-parched ones you might find at
the grocery store, these will be a revelation. Made simply and without
any added fat, they are cooked at a low temperature over a long time to
preserve the natural moisture and lock in the flavor. We’re using an
oven for this recipe, which would typically be made in a food
dehydrator, as I don’t have a food dehydrator and simply do not need
another appliance that is going to take up valuable real estate in my
kitchen. The best kind of tomatoes for dried tomatoes is the Roma
variety as they are less seedy and pulpy. Those are the ones I used in
my recipe; if you use bigger or smaller tomato varieties, adjust your
cooking times accordingly. You will need about ten hours with
intermittent flipping so beginning early in the morning on a day that
you are home will work the best.
3 pounds of Roma tomatoes
Sea salt and pepper
(Use the amounts of seasonings you like; I used about two teaspoons each of the dried herbs.)
Line a flat baking pan with a Silpat or parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.
Remove the green tops off the tomatoes and cut in half length-wise. You
can also decide to cut these further into quarters to reduce the
cooking time. Try to keep them the same basic size so they can cook at
about the same rate.
In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes with your salt and pepper and herbs.
Arrange the tomatoes on your baking pan with the cut side facing up.
Cook for three houses with your oven door ajar a few inches to allow
moisture out, then flip. You will continue to flip every three hours
with the oven door ajar until the tomatoes are at their desired degree
of softness and dryness. Keep in mind that due to differing moisture
content, they may dry out at different times. Try to remove them as you
cook them as they reach a more dry but still plump pliable state, which
for me is between 9 – 10 hours.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
© 2015 Vegan Street