Marinated Dehydrated Tomatoes

These are the best thing since BLT's made with homemade mayo, pasture-raised bacon and heirloom tomatoes. (And that's saying a lot...!) The drying intensifies the flavours of the tomatoes, into rich, sweet, tangy pieces of goodness, and it's made even better by the marinating mixture.

A dehydrator works the best for preparing these, but they can also be dried in a low oven. They're intended for winter storage, but around here, they get eaten like candy straight out of the dehydrator. It takes a hefty dose of willpower to stash them away in storage!

One final note: this recipe can be scaled up or down, according to how many tomatoes you have to work with. In my 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator, I can fit about 2 pounds of tomatoes per tray. Simply multiply the ingredients below to match your processing space and tomato crop.

Marinated Dehydrated Tomatoes

5 pounds tomatoes

1/2 cup olive oil

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 lime

1 tsp paprika (or chipotle powder, for a delightfully smoky, spicy kick)

1 Tbsp other herbs / spices, according to your liking: basil, sage, cumin, rosemary, thyme, mustard are some good options; start with 1 - 3 herbs, and adjust to your taste

1 Tbsp minced garlic

1 - 1.5 teaspoons sugar

1 Tbsp salt

Method:

1. Core and slice the tomatoes

2. Combine the olive oil and all the other marinade ingredients; pour over the tomatoes and stir (gently, but thoroughly)

3. Refrigerate the mixture to marinate for 2 hours, or overnight

4. Scoop out the tomatoes, leaving as much juice as possible in the bowl. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the dehydrator trays.

5. Set the dehydrator at 120F, and dry the tomatoes until leathery... 10 - 20 hours, depending on the thickness of the slices

6. Save the marinating liquid, and add it to a soup, casserole, salad dressing, etc, or freeze it to use in the winter. It's very rich in flavour!

7. Let the tomatoes cool, then store in containers. Due to the oil in the mix, these should be stored in the freezer for long-term storage.

Note: if drying these in the oven, dry at 200F until leathery. This may take 4 - 8 hours, depending on the thickness of the slices. It would be best to dry these on parchment paper, to minimize them sticking to the baking sheet.

Enjoy the flavour of your home-dried tomatoes in the depths of winter (if they don't disappear before then!). Eat them as-is, crumbled and stirred into dips, soups, breads, salad dressings, on pizza, in pasta sauce... the possibilities are endless!