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The Unexpected Kitchen Tool Perfect For Making Dried Tomatoes

Dried cherry tomatoes in a bowl
Dried cherry tomatoes in a bowl - Annapustynnikova/Getty Images

Dried tomatoes offer a versatile culinary experience, serving as subtle garnishes or taking the spotlight in main dishes. They provide a robust hint of tomato flavor without the need for an abundance of fresh tomatoes. Creating these delightful treats can be done through various methods, including sun-drying, using an oven, or employing a dehydrator. While sun-drying was the traditional approach, it may not be practical in certain regions. Fortunately, technological advancements now enable us to expedite the drying process and make dried tomatoes anywhere in the world.

If you opt for using your oven, there's a surprisingly simple method that involves an unexpected kitchen tool –- a potato masher. Believe it or not, this compact gadget works wonders on tomatoes, not just potatoes. Just lay out small tomatoes and use the potato masher to eliminate some of the moisture and tomato juice. It's as easy as it sounds, but there are a few more crucial steps to follow before you can incorporate dried tomatoes as the star ingredient in your dishes.

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Using Your Potato Masher For Making Dried Tomatoes

Dried cherry tomatoes in a bowl
Dried cherry tomatoes in a bowl - SerPhoto/Shutterstock

For the optimal drying experience, opting for grape or cherry tomatoes is recommended, as their petite size ensures they easily succumb beneath the pressure of the potato masher. Begin the transformation by halving each tomato. Once arranged on a cookie sheet in neat rows with equal spacing, unleash the potato masher. Apply firm pressure, squishing each tomato beneath its head. The ingenious design of the masher, featuring perforations, allows the tomato juices to squirt out through the top, gracefully settling back without causing chaos.

In a viral Instagram video shared by buonapastaclub, the potato masher dances effortlessly from one tomato to the next, showcasing a swift and efficient process. This technique enables you to prepare a multitude of tomatoes for the oven in record time. Now, all you have to do is put them in the oven and let the drying begin. Once done, you'll find that these tomatoes are potent in tomato flavor, yet dry and pliable, which is exactly the texture you want.

Meals You Can Make With Your Dried Tomatoes

Spaghetti with rich tomato sauce
Spaghetti with rich tomato sauce - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

Once you've made a couple of batches of dried tomatoes, you'll have the chance to start making some dishes that center on this nutritious vegetable. If you're a fan of tuna fish, consider making tuna salad with sun-dried tomatoes for an Italian flair. You'll love the taste of tuna tossed around with mayo that binds everything together. Each bite will have an intense tomato taste filled with sweet flavors. Adding some red pepper flakes, basil, and lime zest will complete this Mediterranean-inspired meal.

If you like burgers, you can certainly use your dried tomatoes as a topping. Caramelize some onions, add some mozzarella cheese, then throw on your dried tomatoes to create a burger that's packed with fresh flavors and strongly influenced by tomato. If you love spaghetti, you'll want to throw some dried tomatoes into a blender and pulse them with almonds and seasoning. Eventually, you'll have a rich sauce that will take your spaghetti to the next level.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.