Having just prepped 19 pounds of luscious, plump, juice-squirting tomatoes for my tub of tomato sauce, I was left feeling a little awed at the amount of skins I had collected. In the day-long process, as the mound grew, I was scratching my head, wondering if there might not be some clever clod online who could show me what to do with them—apart from tossing them in the bin.
No great surprise, as creativity in the food world simply froths over abundantly like a pot boiling on the stove, there were plenty to choose from.
Make tomato powder. (Right here or over here) Add to soups or sauces, or make a funky Joanne Weir appetizer (learn more about Joanne) by sprinkling it onto feta, drizzling with olive oil, adding some olives and serving with pita.
Oven dry your skins in a low oven (200°) for around 3 hours. Then place the skins in a bottle filled with olive oil and steep for two days. Viola! Scrumptious flavored oil.
Toss them in a freezer bag with all of your onion root ends, garlic stubs, peels from carrots and onions, herb stems and zucchini trimmings (and any other veggie bits you create) to use for making a vegetable broth when the bag is full.
Make a rose garnish for one of your umpteen fancy shmancy dinner parties. (click for the rose and more garnish ideas)
Dehydrate for crisp little tomato crackers. (fab idea)
And my all-time favorite … tomato chips. (click mouse now) Sautéed with olive oil, salt and pepper, we could not stop eating them. Super easy, super delish, super clever folks.
Salt & Pepper
Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Lay your tomato skins flat into the oil and separate from one another. Gently season the skins and cook for about 60 to 90 seconds. Watch them carefully—no browning is best. Flip them with kitchen tongs and cook another further 30 seconds until the skins just begin to show they are crisp.
Lay the skins on a paper towel to drain for one minute and serve. Try to eat just one. Big challenge. You’ll fail. It’s okay. No judging.
PS If you’re searching for seeds (from arugula to zucchini and everything in between), I’m recommending a company that not only has a worthy mission creed but a wonderful moral code. Give The Mauro Seed Company a looksee.
Their motto? Grow One, Give One. I’m impressed. Maybe you will be too.