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Toledo Farmers Market

September 28, 2012
By Dawn Troutner - Market Master , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Market Report for Sept. 14

It was another fantastic Friday night for the Toledo Farmers' Market. With 12 vendors and a large crowd the market started with the ring of the courthouse clock. The crowd made their way through the market after purchasing their fresh produce, bakery or just to say hi to their favorite vendor. Some items available were summer and winter squash, hot and sweet peppers, eggplant, potatoes, sweet potatoes, eggs, bakery, honey, jams, jellies, fresh herbs, dried herbs, leeks, swiss chard, and tomatoes just to name a few. There are only five weeks left of market, be sure to come out and make your purchases.

Tomatoes, tomatoes and more tomatoes; the tables are running over with tomatoes. If you're running out of room for canned or frozen tomatoes why not try drying them. If you dry them they will only take up a fraction of the space and you can use them in all sorts of ways. The biggest surprise is they have very good flavor once you reconstitute them for use. Most use traditional plum or paste type tomatoes. You need the tomatoes to be firm and ripe but not over ripe. For larger round or slicer type tomatoes slice them crosswise into no more than ? inch thick pieces. For cherry tomatoes cut them in half.

Article Photos

Dawn Troutner
Toledo Market Master

Some say if you dehydrator tomatoes they will lose nutrients. The water-soluble vitamins, such as B and C are gone, but nutrients like minerals, fiber content, vitamin A and the phytochemicals become concentrated when we take the water out with the drying process. The lycopene content of tomatoes increases when they are dried. If you use your oven for the drying process, preheat oven to 130 degrees or the lowest setting on the oven. If your oven only goes down to 200 degrees then you will need to leave the door ajar while drying. If you're like me I just put them in the dehydrator. You will want the dehydrator to stay around 135 140 degrees. You may still need to rotate the racks and in some cases turn the tomatoes.

Rehydrating dried tomatoes can be done in different ways. You can soak them in water for 1 -2 hours at room temperature as needed. Boiling the water will speed up the process. If the tomatoes need to soak longer than 1-2 hours, refrigerator them. You can add them directly to soups, and stews during the last 20-30 minutes of cooking. Soak them in bullion, vegetable stock, or wine. Pour a mixture of one half vinegar and one half boinling water over the dried tomatoes and let them soak for 5-10 minutes. Drain thoroughly then mix with a good olive oil seasoned with a few pieces of garlic sliced clove and marjoram leaves. Let them marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator before using. Good in salads, on pizza or in pasta dishes.

If your tomatoes come out too dry make them into flakes and powders. Or just dry them beyond the leathery or pliable state. To give them crumbly texture put them into your freezer for about 5 minutes then crush them with a rolling pin, kitchen mallet or give them a quick whirl in the blender. If you want flakes, dry them until quite brittle and crush with a rolling pin.

Give it a whirl; try something new, buy some tomatoes, and dry them. See you at market.

 
 

 

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