De­hy­drated Toma­toes

To avoid us­ing sub-par toma­toes in the off-sea­son, Min­nick dries and re­con­sti­tutes her sum­mer­time har­vest for top­ping piz­zas year-round

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“Now I work closely with just a few farm­ers, and I use what­ever they bring me,” Min­nick says. What­ever is work­ing best de­ter­mines the daily menu.

It’s been a while since it was so­cially ac­cept­able among the chef cir­cuit to use me­diocre, out-of-sea­son toma­toes on sand­wiches and burg­ers. So why should pizza be any dif­fer­ent?

While canned whole peeled toma­toes are a per­fectly fine go-to for mak­ing sauce (Min­nick likes to can lo­cal, or­ganic Ore­gon toma­toes her­self for this pur­pose), de­hy­drat­ing a few pounds of fresh fruit is an­other way to get sum­mery tomato fla­vor in the off-sea­son.

“In late sum­mer or early fall, I start putting up toma­toes for the rest of the year,” Min­nick says. “I do can some for soups and pasta sauces, but I de­hy­drate the rest for pizza top­pings be­cause it re­ally con­cen­trates the fla­vor.” Later, she re­hy­drates the toma­toes by soak­ing them in hot wa­ter for about 10 min­utes in or­der to plump them and re­lease their aroma. This re­sults in juicier, pret­tier, more fla­vor­ful toma­toes than any sun­dried ver­sion you can buy in a store.

You can use de­hy­drated toma­toes on any non-red­sauce pie that could use a hit of sweet­ness and acid. “One of my fa­vorite piz­zas is topped with re­hy­drated toma­toes, fresh moz­zarella, and kale,” Min­nick says.

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