Austin360Cooks: Making tomato powder from tomato skins

It’s a good time to be a tomato lover.

Even with the heavy rains last month, area farmers are churning out the ’maters by the truckload, and Austinites are eating them up like panko-crusted fried green tomato hotcakes.

Fervent local food fan Carla Crownover, whom you might remember from a profile we wrote when she went a year without shopping at a grocery store, is on a crusade to use up her own tomatoes — and those of her farmer friends — without letting any go to waste. Last week, she went so far as to dehydrate the tomato skins she peeled off while canning tomatoes to make a tomato powder.

After drying out the skins, she finely ground them into a dust to sprinkle on dishes that need a little boost of tomato essence, but she was also thinking about making tomato compound butter, which would taste good on just about everything, especially biscuits. (Later this month, she says she’ll be smoking tomatoes and using those skins for a smoked version.)

If you’re a BLT person, you’ll love Kathryn Hutchison’s spin on the sandwich, even though it doesn’t have bacon or lettuce. She put sliced Springdale Farm tomatoes on a piece of rye bread with garlic chives, cream cheese, salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

You can find more of their tomato creations on Instagram; Crownover is @gardens123 and Hutchison is @atxgastronomist.

Share photos of what you’re cooking this summer by adding #Austin360Cooks to your posts on social media!

Author: Addie Broyles

Food writer for the Austin American-Statesman and Austin360.com.

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