This month we celebrate tomatoes in Solano County. The Tomato Festival was very successful. IL Fiorello held the Tomato Cooking contest, with categories that included Salsa, Soup, Salad, and Sauce. Fantastic recipes were submitted, and winners were announced at the Festival Grandstand in Downtown Fairfield on Sunday. Congratulations to all who entered the competition. We already have exciting plans for next year’s competition, and it will be bigger and better. We served roasted tomatoes on polenta bites for the VIP event that was held that Saturday evening.

The bounty of the tomato harvest at IL Fiorello is just amazing. Nick, our Director of Green Things, planted 23 kinds of tomatoes. Even the volunteer tomatoes are prolific this year.

Daily, we are harvesting bowls full for the Kitchen in the Grove.

We are drying, roasting, preserving, making tomato water, tomato jam, and strawberry and tomato jam.

Sundried and oven dried, we’ll have tomatoes for the entire year. And there is much more to come. We are going to try to dry the brilliant yellow tomatoes, and see what they taste like. Preserved in olive oil, I am sure they are fantastic.

When you dry tomatoes in a dehydrator, they have to have a cut side to let the moisture escape. You can dry or roast whole if that is your preference. On a setting of 140 F, it takes about 24 hours to finish. The final result can than be

 put in a food saver, and you have fantastic flavorful tomatoes for the entire year.


1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, use Romas, Juliet, or San Marzano
3 cloves garlic, raw or roasted either is delicious
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup basil leaves, fresh
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup IL Fiorello Frantoio Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor, except the olive oil.
Start the food processor or blender, and slowly drizzle in the olive oil
Adjust salt and peppers to your taste
This pesto can be refrigerated for up to one week.

Warm penne pasta
With grilled steak or chicken

2018 © IL Fiorello Olive Oil Company

You can also pack the sun dried tomatoes in olive oil. Let them soak for a day or so, and serve on crostini. With goat cheese, they are just delicious.
I may have some tonight for dinner.