Preserving the Harvest - Drying Tomatoes

Put some parchment paper on the bottom of a rimmed cookie sheet. Slice your tomatoes, about a half inch slices. Spread them in one layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt, some fresh ground pepper, and add some basil from the garden. (Basil not necessary, but it sure looks pretty and tastes amazing...)

Set your oven to a low temp...I did these tomatoes at 200 degrees.

200 degrees for "up to" twelve hours. It is the "up to" that will get you, if you aren't careful. This particular day, the humidity was very, very low for my area for this time of year. So this batch of tomatoes only took about three hours! But it can take up to twelve.

All the moisture will dry out, and the tomatoes will shrink and darken. By the time they are done, they will be akin to tomato "chips"...almost crispy. Their flavor is intense, but delicious. You want them to be quite dry, but not burnt. They should peel off the parchment paper pretty easily.

Store these dried tomatoes in a freezer bag, and put them in your freezer. They are great for pizza, for homemade herb breads like foccacia, and soups. They retain their intense flavor and all their vitamins for about six months.

And now, for your viewing delight, I toss in yet another totally unrelated, cute grandson picture:

Be. Still. My. Heart.

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