I was enjoying some dried fruits with my sister the other day. With an enormous fertile garden and a potter with kiln, she dries much of the fruit and veggie bounty. She’s so clever. Bananas, cherries, pears, plums, blueberries, and tomatoes become something else more intense but bearing their familiar flavors.
It dawned on me that I don’t need a bumper crop or kiln to be as clever and to reward myself too. You know when you buy a box of grape tomatoes and it gets pushed to the back of the fridge and you forget about it? Later, when you drag it forward, the skins are a little wrinkly and you know nobody will eat them in their salad because they are not pristine. Or you buy some tomatoes at the market and they taste very bland?
No worries. Put them in the oven on a sheet lined with parchment or silicone. Halve the littles but quarter or slice the bigs depending on size. It takes a low heat, 225 degrees, and a couple of hours, 2 – 3 depending on their size. Don’t even worry about seasoning. Salt and pepper really are not necessary. Try to leave them a bit naked except for a drizzle of oil. Take a look at them every hour or so to make sure they are sorta dry. Then remove from oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
You can put them in a jar in the fridge for several weeks, maybe add a bit more oil. Or pop them into bags and freeze for several months.
But those small batches you will probably be able to use in and with meals in a week or so.
Try them on sandwiches.
Sprinkle on salads.
Put on bruschetta.
Toss with pasta or on pizza.
Just eat them out of hand.
Your non-frivolity will be rewarded. I promise. You will feel so satisfied with yourself that you simply must try this.