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Friday, May 7, 2010

Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Sun-Dried Tomatoes are ripe tomatoes which are placed in the sun to remove most of the water content. Twenty pounds of fresh, ripe tomatoes will dry down to just one pound of sun-dried tomatoes. Sun dried tomatoes have the same nutritional value as the fresh tomatoes they are made from: they are high in Lycopene, antioxidants, vitamin C and low in sodium, fat, and calories.
Sun dried tomatoes were born in Italy as a way to store fresh tomatoes for the winter. Fresh tomatoes would be dried in the hot sun on the tile roofs as a way to preserve them for the cold months. Today they are still dried in the sun, but in much larger quantities and under strict quality controls.

To fully enjoy the great flavor of Sun-Dried Tomatoes, try these great recipes.

Sauce - In a food processor, puree sun-dried tomatoes, grated Parmesan cheese, a clove of garlic and enough chicken broth to make a smooth mixture. Serve over cooked chicken.

Pasta - Add chopped broccoli rabe to pasta water in the last few minutes of cooking; drain and toss with sliced sun-dried tomatoes. Top with freshly grated Parmesan.

Vegetable Saute - Cook sliced zucchini and yellow squash in olive oil until tender-crisp; add chopped sun-dried tomatoes, salt & pepper, and serve.

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