Winter Cooking with Dehyrated Produce

  • Posted on: 3 February 2016
  • By: Previous Farm

by Gianni on our previous farm

We reserve the bulk of our minimal freezer space for deer meat, leftover stock pots of soup and the temporary storage of seasonal wine fruit windfalls; so we dry or dehydrate most of our winter stock pile of produce.

Dehydrated foods retain about 80% of their nutritional value; compared to 50% for canned produce, and dried goods take a lot less space on our shelves than the same amount of food canned.  It also has the added benefit of giving us more food security than freezing due to the frequent power outages that come with wintering here.  However, cooking with dehydrated produce takes a little getting used to.  I'll be posting recipes for our more tasty concoctions as we discover them and we'll be including some of them in our collaborative Farmers Market Cook Book Project at the end of the next growing season.  So to kick it off here's a little ditty we ate a couple days ago.

The Dry Cleaners Skillet

1/4 cup black rice
1/4 cup pearled barley
2 small potatoes
1/2 cup dried roma tomatoes
1 cup dehydrate eggplant cubes
1 cup dried nasturtium flowers - crumbled
1/2 cup dehydrate salted cucumber slices - crumbled
1/4 cup dried valerian leaf - powdered
3 cloves garlic - sliced
1 tablespoon dried cayenne - crushed
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons olive oil

Throw everything above into a 16 inch deep skillet
Fill skillet with water
boil medium high for 15 minutes
Stir frequently
simmer 30 minutes stirring occasionally
or until the water has thickened to a sauce
(If the water evaporates too much before 30 minutes add some more)
turn off the heat
Splash it with soy sauce and stir
top it with 1 handful of crushed, dried purple basil flowers
4 servings

extra good topped with parmesan or shredded cheese at the table.