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No Recipe: Oven-Dried Tomato Skins

The sad truth of testing recipes all the time means that there’s a lot of waste. I often make full recipes of dishes (to serve two or four) in order to get the measurements right, but one cowgirl can only eat so much. Things get tossed out.

And even when I’m not in recipe-testing mode — simply caught up in the joy of what’s in season at that particular moment — I often overbuy. I’ll get pounds of peaches, with visions of cobblers and ice cream in my head, only to later realize that it all needs to be made at the same time, and when I see that it’s not going to happen, I rush to get them peeled and pitted and into the freezer before it’s too late.

It’s the same with tomatoes. I bought two pounds of beautiful tomatoes at the bowling alley in Denton (yes, really) a week ago, thinking I’d make a big batch of cold soup plus who knows what else, and before I knew it, half of them were starting to rot on my countertop.

It happens. I was not having a great week.

So last night, in an effort to save what I could, I cut off the rotten parts of the tomatoes and discarded them, and squeezed the still-healthy bits into a bowl to make tomato sauce. In doing so, because I didn’t have my favorite serrated-edge peeler with me, I simply cut away the skins as close to the flesh as possible and put them aside — and I unknowingly ended up with these triangle-shaped pieces of skin with bits of flesh attached, something I’d usually toss in the trash, but decided not to.

They looked like tomato Doritos, which is why I decided to go ahead and lightly drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle some sea salt and pepper on top, and bake them for awhile — at 200°F for about 2 hours.

A most excellent idea, it turns out. Slightly chewy and with more concentrated tomato flavor that you could imagine, I’m planning to toss these into my  next salad…or omelette, or maybe chop them up and add them to a batch of biscuits.

Which of course makes me want to go out and buy more tomatoes.