MYO Italian Seasoned Tomato Leather

by Tammy Taylor

*contains affiliate link

My garden was practically decimated by the grasshoppers this year for some reason – I’ve never seen an infestation like this!  They descended upon my garden and ate every leaf off of every plant in the pepper section including dulce peppers, pablanos, as well as most of the rest of the garden.  But for some reason they passed completely by my tomato bushes.  And surprise of all surprises I’ve not even seen the dreaded tomato hornworm that I usually battle each summer either.  Add to that the fact that the weather this summer has been odd, unusually cool and with timely rains – not at all what I’m used to seeing for summer gardening here in NE Texas.  The result has been the perfect storm for my tomatoes.  Although I only planted two tomato bushes this year they were my favorite heirloom San Marzanos and they always produce more than we can eat fresh and also plenty for us to preserve.  This year is my first attempt at making a tomato leather in my dehydrator.

I've read you can make tomato leather and use it for homemade pizzas. I decided to give it a go. Check out how it did! #TaylorMadeHomestead

The onslaught of tomatoes from the garden means that RancherMan & I have eaten them fresh with our daily meals, and I’ve made blender salsa and frozen many of them for future use.  I’ve dehydrated the skins to make tomato powder and made tomato sauce as well as pasta sauce.  But now I want to try my hand at something different.

I've read you can make tomato leather and use it for homemade pizzas. I decided to give it a go. Check out how it did! #TaylorMadeHomestead

A dear Facebook friend suggested I try to make tomato leather per the directions in my Excalibur book.  Hummm… I’d never heard of tomato leather – I’m intrigued.  The friend stated that supposedly if I make this tomato leather I can roll it directly onto pizza crust and just start adding toppings – no need to rehydrate first.  NOW she had my attention!  Upon glancing through my Excalibur book I saw that they did indeed suggest this was true.  I have onions and garlic in the garden, as well as fresh oregano so why not flavor the whole thing with Italian seasonings before dehydrating?

First I pulled all those beautiful fresh ripe tomatoes that from the garden, halved and seeded them.  This was an easy task since I can halve & seed these beautiful San Marzanos in about 10-15 seconds.  LOVE IT!  After I got them all seeded I added them to my slow cooker.  What I’d harvested didn’t quite fill it up and I know that these tomatoes will cook down quite a bit so I added some of the seeded tomatoes from my freezer as well.  I added some chopped onions from the garden, a few pressed garlic cloves and some chopped oregano as well as some dried basil from the spice cabinet.  I didn’t measure anything, just added about the same quantities as I would in making pasta sauce.  Then I put the lid on the slow cooker, turned it to hi and let the tomatoes cook overnight.

I've read you can make tomato leather and use it for homemade pizzas. I decided to give it a go. Check out how it did! #TaylorMadeHomestead

The next morning I took the lid off and used my stick blender to puree the tomatoes.  There was quite a bit of water in those tomatoes so I took the top off of the slow cooker and allowed it to cook several more hours so it could thicken the sauce.  When it was as thick as I wanted I gave it a little taste.  The spices were perfect but I added salt to taste, then got busy with my dehydrator.  (for those of you asking, I purchased this * Excalibur dehydrator)

I put dehydrator sheets onto each of my dehydrator trays.  I recently purchased these * dehydrator sheets from Amazon and now that I’m making leather I’m so glad I did!  I poured about 1 cup of my tomato puree onto each dehydrator sheet and spread it thinly with my spatula.  By laying the spatula almost flat and with a light hand I swirled the puree toward the outside corners of the sheet, keeping the shape circular.  My dehydrator book warned that I’d want the circle to be thinnest in the center, a little thicker at the outside of the circle so that the outsides didn’t over dry and crack before the insides of the circles were thoroughly dehydrated.  So I spread my circles about 1/8″ thick at the center and about 1/4″ thick at the edges.

Dehydrate your own Italian-flavored tomato leather to use all those healthy garden tomatoes. I've read you can make tomato leather and use it for homemade pizzas. I decided to give it a go. Check out how it did! #TaylorMadeHomestead

Then I placed those trays into my dehydrator & took it outside and placed it on a small table on my back porch so that heat would stay outside where it belongs during this hot humid season.  My Excalibur book says to dehydrate my tomato leather about 8-10 hours or until the center is no longer tacky, so I turned the temperature to 135 degrees and waited.

After about 4 hours I rotated all my trays since that helps result in a more even drying for my leathers.  Properly dehydrated leather will lift up at the edges but will not be brittle, and for me that took about 9 hours.  Your dehydrating time will vary based on many factors such as how thick your sauce is, how thickly you spread the puree circles, how humid your environment is and of course the power of your dehydrator.  Be sure to check your puree frequently and pull it when the centers are no longer tacky.

Although I read it’s best to roll the leather while it’s still warm I always worry about condensation resulting from cooling, so I allowed my leather to cool before rolling it up and it did fine.  I needed a way to separate my leathers so I took a food-safe plastic bag that previously held bred and cut it apart into squares that were larger than my leather circles and placed a square between each one.

I've read you can make tomato leather and use it for homemade pizzas. I decided to give it a go. Check out how it did! #TaylorMadeHomestead Use plastic bag to separate leathers

Then I rolled the whole stack tightly and placed it into a heavy plastic Ziploc bag.  Of course I’m going to want to know what’s included in this bag so I always include a label.  I use a small  scrap piece of paper to I write what’s enclosed and the date – then I slip it into my Ziploc bag and seal it tight. I can’t wait to give this leather a try on our next pizza night!

I've read you can make tomato leather and use it for homemade pizzas. I decided to give it a go. Check out how it did! #TaylorMadeHomestead Use plastic bag to separate leathers

The dehydrator guide states I can use these leathers rolled out onto pizza crust and of course that will be my primary use for them, but some of it will also be used in soup by pulling off  chunks and dropping it into my simmering soup pot this winter when I once again start making my endless soup  lunches since Italian seasoned soups are my faves.

Although my dehydrator book stated I didn’t have to peel my tomatoes before making the leather, my stick blender doesn’t puree quite as smoothly as I’d like and there’s remnants of the skins in the leather.  I don’t think that will bother us on pizza with all the textures that are typically present but I’m not sure about my soups.  I’ll be sure to update y’all when we have our next pizza night!  Next time I may go ahead & peel my tomatoes for a smoother leather.  Has anyone ever made tomato leather?  Did you peel your tomatoes first?  How did you most enjoy using your tomato leather?  Weigh in & let me know how you liked it – let’s all learn from each other.

~TMH~

 

UPDATE:  I’ve since tried using this tomato leather when making homemade pizza.  Sure enough, all I had to do is roll the leather out on the dough (or french bread for my homemade french-bread pizza) trim it to fit and start adding toppings.  LOVE IT!!  ~TMH~

Update #2: Now, NOW my friends we’ve taken it to a different level. We’ve discovered tortilla pizza for lunch in a snap (and the grandbabies love it) So the other night when RancherMan & I had leftover pasta sauce I debated over what to do with it – remake it into another dish tomorrow? No, we already have supper plans tomorrow. Freeze it? Maybe, but dang our freezer is full. Then RancherMan casually mentioned “Why don’t you dehydrate it into tortilla-sized pizza leather?” YES!! The sauce was already cooked, already seasoned & ready to go. These 5 to 5.5 inch leathers dehydrated in only about 6 hours.  Now that my leathers are made they take no additional energy to store in my pantry. I can’t wait to try these bad boys out – there will be tortilla pizza in our immediate future!

Make tomato leather to use for homemade pizzas - just roll it out & start adding toppings!. I decided to give it a go, come see! Tortilla-sized tomato leather #TaylorMadeHomestead

C’mon by & sit a spell!  Come hang out at our ~TMH~ Facebook Page – it’s like sitting in a front porch rocker with a glass of cold iced tea – lots of good folks sharing!  You can also follow along on Pinterest, Twitter or GooglePlus. If you’d like to receive an email each time a new blog post goes live it’s EASY to Subscribe to our blog!

 

It's Easy To Subscribe To #TaylorMadeRanch Blog just click the email icon! http://taylormadehomestead.com/

*Amazon Affiliate
* A word about our Affiliate Link – We are currently enrolled as an Amazon Affiliate.  Occasionally I will insert an affiliate link into one of my posts if I think it may be of interest to you.  I  receive nothing from the manufacturer and I only link to products that I have used & love and feel you might love too. If you click on any of my affiliate links and buy something (almost anything, not just what was linked) I get a small referral percentage from Amazon.  But here’s the really important part – the price you pay for your items is UNCHANGED.

When you buy something through the affiliate link it’s a great way to support this blog without anything coming out of your pocket so please click often!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

47 thoughts on “MYO Italian Seasoned Tomato Leather

  1. Helen at the Lazy Gastronome

    I’ve never had tomato leather! Thanks for sharing on the What’s for Dinner link up and don’t forget to leave a comment at the party – Next week’s features that also leave a comment get pinned and tweeted!

    Reply
  2. Elaine

    Looks like a wonderful idea to dehydrate…I always freeze my abundance of tomatoes and sauces!! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday – Pinned!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      I have tomatoes in the freezer as well Elaine, but freezer space is currently at a premium until we go through some of the meat RancherMan has harvested from the wild hogs on our property. PLUS, I really like the homemade pizza use for leather – roll onto your crust and start piling on toppings, no rehydration required. Add to that the fact that these leathers take no additional energy to store – they’re stored in our pantry – and it’s a perfect fit for the Taylor Homestead! ~TMH~

      Reply
  3. Katy SkipTheBag

    I’ve never heard of tomato leather, but it looks so convenient as a way to keep excess tomatoes. Thanks for sharing on the #WasteLessWednesday blog hop.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      I’d never heard of it either Katy, a FB friend of mine mentioned it to me and suggested I look in my Excalibur dehydrator book. Low & behold! This week I made a bunch of tortilla-sized ones using leftover pasta sauce, I can’t wait to try them out on our tortilla pizzas. ~TMH~

      Reply
  4. John White

    Tammy, one question, does the rollup get enough moisture from the dough to re-hydrate it or do you spritz it with a little water before adding toppings?

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      John, truly – I roll the dehydrated leather onto my pizza dough and start adding toppings. As the dough and topping cook they rehydrate the leather beautifully. I’ve not yet tried it on the tortilla pizza, that WILL be happening soon! LOL ~TMH~

      Reply
  5. Bonnie V

    Man, now this makes me want an Excalibur. I have a round dehydrator and it leaves a giant hole in the middle of my leathers. I haven’t had much luck with tomatoes, but hopefully this winter will yield better results. Gardening in Florida can be tricky. This leather looks really interesting. Can’t wait to hear how it is in soup.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I do love the square trays of the Excalibur Bonnie. And when the garden is going well (this year is NOT representative of that!) my Excalibur dehydrates all the excess garden produce to drop into those bubbling soups over the winter months. Nothing wasted! ~TMR~

      Reply
  6. Lisa M

    What an awesome idea! I would have never thought of this…thanks for the tutorial! Thanks for linking up with Green Thumb Thursday. We’d love to see you back again this week! Lisa

    Reply
  7. Elaine

    Interesting…never thought to do this with all of my extra garden tomato’s! Thanks for sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday! Hope to see you again this week!! Pinned!

    Reply
  8. Tiffany

    I’ve never had tomato leather before, but it sounds interesting! We had a ton of grasshoppers this year, too. They completely destroyed my goldenrod and my tickseed. Thanks for sharing with us at the Merry Monday Link Party!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Tomato leather is very helpful in making homemade pizza night a snap Tiffany, we love it. Hate that the grasshoppers caused you grief too. ~TMR~

      Reply
  9. Jenny @ Refresh Living

    How cool that you can put the tomato leather right on the pizza! I just canned a bunch of my plum tomatoes from the garden, but now I might need to find someone to let me borrow their dehydrator. Thanks for sharing with us at Dream. Create. Inspire. Link.

    Reply
  10. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

    Yes John, I simply rolled them up with a piece of plastic between them so they wouldn’t stick together & put them in an air-tight ziplock bag in my pantry. ~TMR~

    Reply
  11. Diane

    I drug my dehydrator out of the store room this summer. It’s been great fun dehydrating tomatoes. I’m may try this leather too. Never thought to do leather with tomatoes! #homesteadbloghop

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I never thought of it either Diane until a friend suggested it. Our homemade pizza just got oodles easier! ~TMR~

      Reply
  12. Missy

    I love this idea! I dehydrated a lot of my tomatoes in pieces last season and I’ve thought about blending them into a powder to use in soups, etc. I can’t wait to try leather next season. Keep the dehydrating recipes coming! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I dehydrated chopped tomatoes this year too Missy, I’ve been using them in my endless soup, grinding them into powder, and many other uses. I’m hoping I’m blessed with a bundle of tomatoes from the garden next year too because tomatoes are so versatile. ~TMR~

      Reply
  13. Gentle Joy

    What a great idea! I do a lot of dehydrating, but never knew the dried tomato leather could be put right on the pizza – I would be interested to know how it turned out when you made a pizza. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I’ve given it a test run and it turned out BEAUTIFULLY! I have several seasoned tomato leathers rolled & stored in my pantry, pizza night just got easy! ~TMR~

      Reply
  14. Cynthia

    I was wondering what you would use this for! I thought maybe people liked to eat it like the fruit leathers, lol. Great idea to use it in soups. I grow San Marzanos too. I like them because they are nice and juicy, not dry like lots of the plums

    Reply
  15. Pingback: Seasoned Tomato Leather & Green Thumb Thursday – Imperfectly Happy

  16. Erlene

    I’d love to hear how these tomato leathers turn out when you use them on pizza. I’m always amazed at all the things you can dehydrate. Thanks for sharing on Merry Monday.

    Reply
  17. Kathy

    I’ve never thought to make this – it sounds amazing! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday, Kathy

    Reply
  18. Pingback: Homemade Mondays week 96 - Frugal by Choice, Cheap by Necessity

  19. CTY

    Doesn’t that beat all! I can hardly wait until you report about the pizza. No need to rehydrate–huh— Who knew?

    Reply
  20. Elise @frugalfarmwife.com

    That’s an awesome idea! I can’t wait to hear how it works using it without rehydrating first. This sounds so much more awesome than canning! 😀

    Reply
  21. Nancy @ A Joyful Cottage

    I enjoy seeing how others preserve produce from their gardens. We’re in an apartment now, but planning to build a small home and I’ll be back to gardening again once we get settled. I like your blog. We live in Oregon cattle country and while we’re not ranchers we surely do enjoy the cattle and horses all around us. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving the nice comment. I’m following you on Google+ and looking forward to seeing more posts of your homestead. Blessings, Nancy

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I know you can’t wait to get your hands in the dirt again Nancy. Until then hopefully container gardening is pacifying your need to garden. 🙂 ~TMR~

      Reply
  22. Nicole

    Not in a million years would I have ever thought of dehydrating tomatoes. I don’t think I like tomatoes enough to try it, but it’s a pretty great idea. Thanks for sharing with us at the #yuckstopshere link up. Please come share again with us next week. Also, feel free to join our Foodie Bloggers and Writers FB group.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Nicole, RancherMan’s not a big fan of tomatoes, but he absolutely LOVES his pizza. So this will work perfectly! ~TMR~

      Reply
  23. Laurinda

    Holy smokes that’s ingenious!!! I wonder if I can do this on my crappy little dehydrator? (I did ask for an Excaliber, but the big guy is leery of shopping online)

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      The problem with attempting this in a smaller dehydrator is the fact that it will be a ring and not a circle, as most dehydrators have that hole in the middle to allow the air through. I bought this Excalibur online & I’ve had no troubles with the actual shopping or shipping and I absolutely love my Excalibur –> http://amzn.to/1rv9d40 The large trays of the Excalibur have allowed me to do things I hadn’t been able to do with my smaller home-appliance dehydrator, especially larger quantity things and of course this leather. ~TMR~

      Reply
      1. re jn

        you can make little circles to fit where the heat hole is in the dryer. when you take the rings out of the dryer just pop a little circle into it. tahdah full big circle! : ) make you little circles just a smidge bigger than the heat hole space will be in your circle.

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Please enter the Biggest Number