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Dried Tomatoes

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Category: Vegetables

 Ingredients List

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Dried tomatoes vary a lot in moisture content & how they are stored.
Some are very dry, almost brittle, & sold in plastic bags. Others are
very juicy & plump & sold packed in oil. Some that were packed in
salt (which were too salty). Some dried tomatoes sold in bins are
quite damp & some in oil are quite dry. If you have dry dried
tomatoes you may have to "plump" them. For things likes pasta sauce
or pizza dry dried tomatoes rehydrate during a bit of cooking. For
canapes (see cheese) or salad you might want to briefly steam the
dried tomatoes to plump them up. Sometimes put them in a cup with a
bit of water (only 1/2 tsp. or so) & zap them in the microwave for
10-30 seconds till the water boils. Let them sit (covered of course)
& the steam will soften them. Pizza: chop dried tomatoes in strips or
chunks & put on pizza. Because they burn easily, place them under
other things (maybe on the sauce covered crust). Simply making sure
you can't see them when the pizza is ready to go in the oven is ok.
Pasta: saute some veggies (onion, zucchini, carrots, eggplant, &
anything else including tomatoes) in olive oil. If the dried tomatoes
are packed in olive oil, use that. Include some fresh or dried herbs
such as basil & oregano to taste. When almost cooked add chopped
dried tomatoes. If the dried tomatoes are very dry add them earlier,
& if they are plump & juicy add them late. Toss with fresh cooked
pasta & serve with grated parmesan, Romano, or other cheese. Often
parmesan mixed with chopped parsley looks good. Salad. If you have
oil packed dried tomatoes, make a simple vinegrette using the dried
tomatoes olive oil as the oil. A simple salad composed of fresh &
chopped dried tomatoes on a bed of assorted greens with this
vinegrette poured over it is great with a good grind of pepper.
Cheese Spread. Finely minced dried tomatoes mixed into chevre or
cream cheese makes a great cheese spread like those "herb cheese"
things etc. In a similar vein, crackers spread with cream cheese or
chevre with a dried tomatoes on top is a decent simple canape. Dried
tomatoes are very versatile & seldom spoil a dish. They make a great
garnish, slivered, chopped, halved, or whole. Remember to use the oil
some prepacked in too. Its generally olive oil with some herbs & its
very fragrant & tasty. Great for anything using olive oil & dried
tomatoes or herbs & fresh tomatoes.

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