One of the problems with having wonderful access to inexpensive produce is that there is a definite tendency to over-buy . . . at least in my household.
I know I’m bad about this – when I see something good (and cheap) in the farmers market, I buy it because it may inspire me to do something new or different when I cook for my family. Case in point – I’m now trying to use up all the veggies I bought – even knowing that I was heading out for a birthday trip this week.
I just discovered that my dear husband is every bit as bad as I am about wanting to scoop up bargains. As I was preparing our dinner salad (which is going to be about as “main dish” as you can possibly imagine, given everything I am trying to cram into it), I discovered 6 tomatoes, packaged in one of those “sell soon” bags you see at the supermarket. The tomatoes were only a buck, but are just a tad overripe – no brown spots, but definitely softening . . . if you know what I mean.
So, in order to “save” Bill’s bargain, I am now oven-roasting those six tomatoes. If you have a similar problem when you are getting ready to go on a trip – here’s the solution:
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
- Line rimmed cooked sheets with parchment paper.
- Wash and slice those overripe tomatoes (of course, cutting away any bad parts)
- Place the sliced overripe tomatoes on the parchment paper and slowly cook them. Depending on how juicy they are, this could take anywhere from 2-6 hours. (Contemplate that while you’re trying to wash clothes and pack for your trip!)
- You need to keep look at those tomato slices while they slowly shrivel. Depending on how juicy they were to begin with, you don’t want to take them off those parchment covered sheets until they are completely dry. I just checked mine after two hours and know that they will probably take another hour or two because they were pretty juicy.
- I refrigerate the ones I make (I will probably put them in olive oil) and use them for the first pasta dish home from vacation.
I’m sure I will have other tips on aging produce in future blogs – please post if you have a great tip you’d like to share.