Sunday, April 18, 2010

Mosaic Monday: Tomatoes!

These are from the market, but soon enough tomato plants will be showing up at the nurseries and we can grow our own! In the mean time, I found these beauties! and then I found a really interesting way to cook with them!

It's been a real lazy weekend here, not much going on, so I sat down to flip channels and see what was on TV. PBS had reruns of Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie, which I like very much. I was sorry to see it go, and even more sorry to see the magazine go as well! This episode looked pretty cool. All kinds of weird science kitchen inventions and then a dessicated tomato! WHAT??? What are dessicated tomatoes? Powdered tomatoes? Ruth Reichl was making tomato powder. That looked pretty neat, especially when she spooned it over some pasta. Seems easy enough, but then it always does when THEY are doing it! The crazy science projects, I could do without!

Turns out this was really easy. No kidding. No smoke alarm, no mistakes, no work at all. All she did was slice the tomatoes thin and leave them in a very low oven for about five or six hours until they are completely dried. Then whiz it all up in a spice grinder until it becomes powder! It looked so good on TV. I can do this! It looked pretty interesting to have a powdered tomato. So that was my Sunday afternoon project! I did it. and look at that, it came out good. While those were in the oven, I fried up some chicken cutlets for dinner. After all, I did have five hours to kill.

This stuff is fantastic. Really deep tomato flavor. Totally concentrated. I thought I burned them but they were perfectly dried, cooked to a burnt rusty color. Take them out when they crumble in your hand and there is no moisture to them at all. I think I need to get more tomatoes! Amazing how 6 medium sized tomatoes made a little bit of powder. But this little bit of powder will definitely be gone in a day or two. Had to try it out, so I already sprinkled some on a piece of brick oven white from the bakery. Broiled the bread with a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh garlic scraped on top, then when it was browned, I sprinkled some tomato powder on top. WOW! This is amazing stuff! I can see myself sprinkling this on everything. A little powder on some fresh mozzarella balls, drizzled with some olive oil and some fresh basil! AMAZING!

Dry them in the oven until they turn dry and rust colored

Whiz them in a spice grinder until they are powdered!

Amazing how six tomatoes end up as more than a few tablespoons of powder!

Delicious sprinkled on toasted garlic bread!

You can also sprinkle the powder on pasta, in soup, in a salad, the possibilities are endless! Really easy and so good!

Tomato Powder
Source: Gourmet – Diary of a Foodie
Printable Recipe

6 to 8 ripe tomatoes
one 17- by 11-inch nonstick bakeware liner such as a Silpat and a sheet pan
an electric coffee/spice grinder

Preheat oven to 175ºF with rack in middle. Put liner in a 4-sided sheet pan.
Cut tomatoes crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices and arrange in 1 layer in pan.
Dry tomato slices in oven, turning over once, until completely dehydrated and crisp, 5 to 5 1/2 hours. Cool completely.

Crumble tomato into grinder and grind to a fine powder. Transfer to a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Shake powder through sieve, then discard any pieces remaining in sieve.

Powder keeps in an airtight container at room temperature indefinitely.

Joining Mary from The Little Red House for another Mosaic Monday! Stop by the Little Red House to see lots of fantastic Mosaics every week!


  1. Your tomatoes look so red and pretty. The toasted garlic bread idea sounds yummy.

  2. Carol, I am so glad you tried it and took the guesswork out of it for others that would like to try it. I did buy something very similar at O & Co. in Greenwich Village last year. It was yummy! Great post my friend!

  3. That sounds amazing, Carol! I can't wait to try it. Thank goodness for stem-on tomatoes to get us through the winter ;)

  4. Amazing idea, must give it a try. The tomatoes look so yummy.

  5. I'll have to mention this to my Hubby since he is the tomato lover in this household. They sure make a nice mosaic!

    The Blue Ridge Gal

  6. Wow, Carol, tomato powder sounds like an amazing condiment to have on hand! I'll have to try this -- Thanks!

    I miss Gourmet Magazine too.

  7. Oh, what pretty tomatoes! I'm just amazed at you making them into a powder! Sounds pretty good!
    Thanks so much for popping in to see me.
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  8. What a perfect way to use those not-so-perfect tomatoes! Great post!

  9. I have never seen this before but it just makes so much sense to do it! Thank you so much for sharing this great idea for tomatoes!

    Best wishes,

  10. I bought something like this years ago in a gourmet shop and the taste was unbelievable. I will try this when I am back up north when the tomatoes come in. Great post!


  11. Thanks for the great idea! We've got temperate enough weather to have local tomatoes year round and we eat them almost every day. It's always great to have a new way to use them!


  12. wow thats a realy great way to use up tomatoes.

  13. Sounds good - thanks for the tutorial. I am ready for some good tomatoes.

  14. Isn't that something! And the beauty is you can transform those tasteless grocery store tomatoes into that magic powder! No need to wait for, or waste, the good home-growns.

  15. I love tomatoes(in their natural form) and not sure if I feel horrified to see them all dried up like that or fascinated at another way to eat them hehe. Cool!

  16. What a neat idea! My tomatoes spoil fast! You are so good with kitchen tips!

    Love your magazine cover!

  17. I've only made orange and cepe powder, and have been been meaning to try this tomato crack, but haven't yet. I guess all I needed was a good push from you and your amazing photos.

    Btw, I haven't seen ruby-red tomatoes since last summer. I'd hate you if I didn't love you.

  18. Wow, my mouth is watering just thinking of that! Thanks so much for sharing at MM :)

  19. I love tomatos. My dad is a master gardener and his tomatos are the best!

  20. This is interesting! Never heard of it, but you can bet I'll try it.

  21. I can't believe I missed this! Sorry!
    That is very interesting, tomato powder..maybe I would like it..does it taste like ketchup? LOL

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