Dried Tomatoes in oil

I just dried a pile of cherry tomato halves in the dehydrator (thanks, Andy). I'm thinking of storing them in oil in the fridge. Has anyone else done this, and if so, how long did you keep them for? I have seen all sorts of advice on the web - some contradictory- and am unsure if this is worth doing. An alternative is to just dry them till they are completely desiccated and grind them to a powder as has been suggested here before. Any advice gratefully accepted.

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  • However, since I have now finally finished this round of tomato harvests I can get to enjoy them at leisure.

    Without any hesitation I much prefer to cook with Tommy Toes and their kin than any other tomato or canned thereof.

    Most weeks I do a bean soup and the wee toms are just right in the hubble and bubble. So freezing has to be my preference. I do have several jars of dried toms in oil but they are seldom something I'd choose to stew.

    There is something delightfully sensuous in allowing the wee tomatoes to swell up in a broth, then mash them down lightly so that they explode.

    I find that TTs go so well with an onion/celery/sweet pepper sophrito. Throw in the toms to your taste preference.  If adding beans I LOVE throwing in the -- strange tasting -- herb, Epazote. If you want meat, I'm learning that it makes an easy hack  to always have chorizo on hand -- as a mince combo, rather than as a sausage. That's the way the Mexican deploy their chorizo.And chirizo is a  mince mix marinated in plenty of paprika plus sundries.Fry the meat up for the soup.

    So sophrito + Tommy Toes + chorizo + beans + epazote ... Can't go wrong.

    And it is such a great way to increase your mixed veg intake.

  • I like the look of that. 

  • Here's another deliciouds option if you don't have a dehydrator:

  • Both. But the problem is that self sewn toms can be the wee ones which are so hard to harvest and use. Taste great though-- but also present a drying challenge. But I get self sewn tomatoes growing everywhere they can find a niche.

  • Dave, are your Tommy Toes a variety that you replant each year, or they, like mine, just what comes up in the garden? 

  • I harvested another lot of Tommy Toes today...with lots more to come. I don't like Passata so much and my freezer is almost full with other comestibles. So I'm thinking of taking the space saving route by  drying and dipping them:

    9674494483?width=632&profile=RESIZE_710xThey sure taste great but they lose their slight tang when processed.

    This is the third lot I've harvested in as many days and there is still more waiting and often hiding in the beds. Looking at the plants it will take me another week or so to complete this harvest round. And here I was thinking that by staggering the planting I would not have to fret!

    I cooked a Mexican 3 Bean soup for tea tonight and added the Tommy Toes towards the end and cooked them long enough so that they began to split. I gave them a bit of a push down with a masher and the taste and texture really took off.

    That's why I'm unwilling to commit all my harvest to drying. Dried toms are different.

    FYI: the unripe green toms perform OK when dried too.

    • [ANECDOTE: Back in the day I moved into a shared house in inner city Melbourne and the whole yard was full of tomato bushes. We lived off that backyard for months. Now I seem to have come full circle. The house, on the other hand, has since been torn down and replaced by a block of flats. After that domicile I lived in a small building down a lane behind a North Fitzroy brothel. I know that because the clientele used to knock on my door seeking services.]
    • 9675519088?profile=RESIZE_710xWho knew that behind that exterior was Tomatoland.
  • Taste tested by the family, I think I can say it was successful. However, way too much oil - didn't pack them tightly enough. No problem, though - there are always more little tomatoes coming on...and on...and on......

  • 9668847701?width=277&profile=RESIZE_710xTOMMY TOES: Dried and dipped in Balsamic Vinegar before being packed tight in olive oil.

    They taste great.

    Two wee jars but I started with two  big bowls  of tomatoes with many more pending on the vine waiting for harvest.

    And here is a shot of Tommy's toes which have not been dried or marinated.9668911897?profile=RESIZE_710x

  • Great info guys, I always put my Tommy Toes on a try in the freezer before putting into bags or a Glass Box, you can now also get Stainless Steel, Glass Box type jars that are completely airtight.

  • Here's my lame view - for what it is worth.  

    Drying means less chance of bacteria.  After-all, little moisture (but still some left).

    Oil cuts off the air and stops aerobic bacteria as well.  Combined with drying, you are on a winner.   

    Vinegar means lower PH and less chance of all sorts of nasties on top.  

    You can actually combine all three methods for long term storage.  Dry - then put into a vinegar/oil mix.  Mostly oil.  Put that in the fridge and it will keep for quite some time because of all of the above but the solid oil is like a wax and stops the toms from rehydrating in the mix.  

    You end up with dry toms in a low acid wax mix which is also kept in the cold.  

    Even without the vinegar (which is a terrific addition), I've kept dried in herbed oil in the fridge for a month with no issues.  I have some that have been in there for almost six now.  I wish I had have added the vinegar.  I'll throw the current ones out and try the 3 blend mix.  I'm confident it is a winner.  

    Yes, I am the maniac who did the eggs out of the fridge for 12 months.  It's just a matter of science... and a lot of care on the sampling.  

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