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Tomato Experiment

I am trying something that I had been thinking about. I always have cherry or grape tomatoes on hand since I keep little plants in my kitchen all year round. I cut them in half and had them dehydrating. Now, that they are done drying, I put them in a container with some olive oil and chopped garlic. I’m hoping to reproduce sun dried tomato flavor. My hope is to eventually blend them into a sort of Italian type paste for some dishes. I only did a small batch to experiment.
Has anyone else tried something like this? How did it come out?


  • sorry, I don’t have any info / advice for you but I noticed you said you keep tomato plants in your kitchen. I would love to do this! so obviously its possible :) Do you have any tips/hints? I am a pretty avid (outside) gardener so I am hoping for success growing some tomato plants inside too. ( i live in ohio )

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    i thought it was funny that is almost EXACTLY what my favorite coookbook “Verdura” by Viana La Place calls for. note: it used to be my fave COOK book, now it’s my fave UNcookbook. i’ve replaced low heat oven with {dehydrator}

    “Ripe tomatoes
    coarse salt
    fresh mint leaves
    dried mediterranean oregano
    peeled garlic cloves
    extra virgin olive oil

    cut the tomatoes in 1/2 or 1/4, depending on size. place them, cut side up {on a dehydrator sheet}. place in {dehydrator} for 7 hrs or longer. when tomatoes have shed their excess moisture, but before they are completely dry, remove them from the {dehydrator}. in a mason jar, layer the tomatoes interspersed with mint leaves, sprinklings of oregano, and garlic cloves. cover with evoo. close the jar tighly and refrigerate. these tomatoes will keep for months.

    sun dried tomato paste—

    place these tomatoes in a blender or fp. process until a smooth paste forms, adding evoo as needed. transfer to a small bowl. pour a thin layer of olive oil over the top. cover and refrigerate. sun-dried tomato paste lasts a very long time.”

    i was going to make it soon myself.

  • I am always trying to come up with yummy tomato sauces, this sounds like a great way to make flavorsome tomato dishes :)

  • Pianissima
    Thank you for that! I think a couple of them may be a little too dehydrated, the smaller pieces. Hehe, but I will probably gnaw on them anyway.

    that’s exactly what I was thinking, something rich and flavorful.

    Cherry tomatoes are the easiest things to grow! I just stick a seed or two in my dirt, keep it moist until it grows. It doesn’t take long for them to begin bearing fruit, and you don’t need a very big pot at all for one plant. At times, I just take seeds out of a tomato that I’ve eaten. When, I’m careful I can keep the same plant going for a couple of years. But sometimes I get heavy handed with my watering. Once spring comes, I’ll plant my big tomatoes outside with the rest of my garden.

  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    pianissima – thanks for the recipe! I have been wanting to make my own sun-dried tomatoes from the ones I grow in my garden!

    lapetitemort – I think we don’t get enough light in the house to grow tomatoes, but I will try it now. I never would have thought of growing cherry tomatoes inside – are the plants smaller than regular tomato plants? I have used sun-dried tomatoes that I bought in olive oil to make pizza sauces and marinara sauces. I just put lots of sun-dried tomatoes in the food processor with garlic, basil, oregano, parsley, lemon juice, sea salt, olive oil & sometimes fresh tomato. The more fresh tomato, the runnier it will be.

  • Plants usually grow according to the container they are in; so the plant stays pretty small. I even grew bell peppers and jalepenos inside =) The fruit is smaller, but the flavors are just as good!
    Luckily, I get a lot of light, but in my old place I just would move them closer to a window during the day. Indirect light is great for them =)

  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    Cool! I will definitely have to try it! Thanks for the info. :)

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    no worries. the info about growing your own is interesting for me now cuz it’s been an idea of mine for a while now. i think once i start it won’t seem like such a big deal. any tips to get started?

  • germin8germin8 Raw Master

    That’s a great idea!

  • I just tasted it, YUM!! The problem is I never measure things, I cook by site, smell, textures. =( But I can tell you what I used to make the filling. It was about a handful of the dried, soaked tomatoes I made including the olive oil and garlic I had them soaking in – it was about 2 teaspoons. About a handful of soaked sunflower seeds. Some lemon juice. Basil, a little more chopped garlic (about 1/2 a clove), about two or three ripe cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of more olive oil. I blended it in the blender until it was semi smooth. I sliced my yellow squash longways with a potato peeler. I had sprinkled sea salt on it and let it sit an hour or so, then rinsed it off and let it drain. All I did then was layer squash, filling, squash. And I put it in the dehydrator on 95 for a few hours. Thankfully, I still have another hunk that I just put in for dinner tonight.

    I’m going to make some more tomatoes now.. When I make this again, I’ll try to use measuring tools to get it accurate.

  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    Thank you! That sounds sooooo good. I always grow lots of zucchini & yellow squash in the summer & I am collecting recipes to use them in! :)

  • I have a pint of organic sugar plum tomatoes that I bought last week for my bf while I was on the master cleanse. Since he rarely cooks for himself unless it’s something frozen, there are still a bunch left so I am inspired to dehydrate them. I am going to do that when I get home today!

  • thank you lapetitemort.. I am excited to try this out for myself. I would of never thought just using a seed from a tomato would actually work!

  • another question for you lapetitemort :) do you wash the seeds before putting them in the dirt? if so do you just use plain water? thanks in advance..

  • Nope, I don’t wash the seeds. I’m sort of an experimental gardener in most ways. I just sort of see what happens, haha. I’m excited though because my parents just sent me some heirloom seeds from their plants. I cannot wait to plant them! And I also buy seeds for plants that I want to try. I don’t want to give the wrong impression that I don’t. =) For watering, I just use plain water. I collect snow, rain and such and use that at times, when it rains here!. And when I wash my dishes, I wash them in a tub and water my outdoor plants with that too =) I tried a few times last year to grow a pineapple from the cut pineapple top, but I haven’t had success yet. I know it can be done though! My dad told me about it and when my parents came up for a visit, we saw one done at the Botanical Gardens. So, that’s one of my goals this year too!

  • Just out of curiosity, do you guys scrape the seeds right out of a tomato or do you buy packaged seeds?

  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    I once had a tomatillo plant that was started indoors by planting a thin slice of the tomatillo! It grew a little ring of tomatillo seedlings because the seeds go all the way around the slice! Too much competition in so small a space, so only one was kept and the others composted :( but it was fun to experiment & see what happened. I moved it outside after a while, because I didn’t know if it needed bees to pollinate it. I want to try other things that way, now. Everything else I have just bought seeds. Also, the seeds out of the fruits will only grow into plants if the fruit is not a hybrid. Maybe people already know that.

  • OK, so as I was slicing the sugar plum tomatoes a bunch of the little seeds popped out, so I am going to try planting them. I have a ton of questions though: How big of a pot do you recommend, lapetitemort? Should I sprout the seeds and how? And how do you dry them first? How much do you water?


  • If I take them from a tomato, I let them dry some first. Right now I have a little apple tree from an organic red apple. I’m trying to get another to grow from a green apple. I was told you have to have two of apple to get them to produce fruit.

    If you have a compost pile that is more open (not in a compost container), you’ll be surprised by how many plants will sprout up from that. I’ve had squash regrow, cucumbers, watermelon, tomato.

  • Oh! And yesterday I soaked some sunflower seeds and blended the dehydrated, soaked tomatoes with some basil and a little more garlic and oil. I layered them between some yellow squash noodles. It’s in the dehydrator and smells heavenly. So, I will let you know how it tastes later. Though I do wish I had made more of the tomatoes for the sauce!

  • When I dry my seeds, I just place them on a dry towel or a plate, usually near a windowsill. I’ve even made little envelopes and put the seeds in for a year or so. One of my cherry tomato plants is in an 8” pot, so small. But to start seeds, I even use old terracotta coffee and tea cups that are cracked and broken. I keep the soil moist and not drenched. Like a damp sponge.

    For little tomatoes, I’ve even dried a whole little tomato and stuck it in.

    Sometimes it takes more than one try to get a plant from a seed. I have some peter pepper plants growing from a pepper I swiped off my mom & dad’s bush. Those really came up!

    And you can take organic green onions, the part with the white and root and plant those. They usually take like weeds!

  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    Oooh, that sounds good. Are you going to post the recipe?

  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    Do you leave the green top on the green onion? Does it grow into a bunch of green onions, or one bigger onion? I have garlic in my garden that I plantedin October, and it is growing. I never thought about trying it inside, though. This is the first time I am growing garlic at all – it grows through the winter, but I am thinking I should plant some more now & see how long/if it grows well in spring & summer. I just bought fresh garlic, seperated the cloves, and plant each clove about as deep as the clove is tall. Fun thread this is turning out to be! :)

  • See, I haven’t tried garlic yet! I plant the white part after I used up the green part. I did plant that outside this time. It lasted pretty well through winter, even in snow! It will multiply over the years. You can even save the white part in a paper bag for later planting. The “bulby” part will dry up and keep like a tulip bulb. =)

    I wish I lived back home, where the weather is warmer all year long. And nearer my parents. My dad is using old tires, stacking them up and growing potatoes inside – it’s easier to dig them out instead of digging into deep ground.

    I posted this in another thread in Gone Raw, but I think it applies here too – for starting seeds indoors for later planting outside.

    Some quick tips for growing indoors and then planting outdoors, seed starting. You can take newspaper and make little cups, put dirt in and plant the seed. You can place the little cups in a tray for watering. When it is time to plant them outside, you can plant the whole little cup. You can do the same with your avocado shells. Plant in each half, then plant them directly in the ground. Both degrade and add nutrients to the soil.

  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    Cool – Thanks! The garlic works perfect through the snowy winter. I also read that kale will grow through the winter, but I’m not sure how cold/snowy a winter. I want to try it next winter – fresh greens all winter?! Talk about battling the winter blahs!

  • Yes, please post the recipe!

  • I just wanted to thank you again lapetitemort for all this super info! I am going to try growing seeds indoors for my outdoor garden too this year.

    Another question I am hoping you might know something about. I bought some chives, stevia, basil herbs in pots at my local nursery. Each time I attempted to keep these herbs ( i bought chives and basil on several occasions) ...i noticed I had a bad case of knats that I couldn’t get rid of until I disposed of the plants. I tried googling this problem but didn’t come up with anything?

  • Hmm, I’m not sure. My guess would be that the soil is too wet? You could try repotting in new soil that is fresh and drier? It would be worth a try. =)

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