Tomato Skin Salt

By Lindsay-Jean Hard
July 17, 2015
33 Comments


Author Notes: Have you ever blanched and peeled tomatoes and then thought: "What can I do with those tomato skins?" No? Me either. But luckily for us, Gabrielle Hamilton did.

In her cookbook, Prune, she dries tomato skins and turns them into powder. I'm skeptical of using powders in the home kitchen—I see them as one small step from claiming foams constitute a meal—but when the basic method is slightly tweaked to make tomato skin salt...well, now we're talking.

Since you are eating the skin, this is absolutely one of those times you’ll want to be buying organic produce. Or, if you're at your local farmers market, you can talk to farmers about their growing practices, which might be equivalent to organic even if the farm is not certified as such.
Lindsay-Jean Hard

Makes: pretty pinkish-red salt

Ingredients

  • tomato skins
  • coarse salt (in equal amount to tomato skins by weight)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 200° F.
  2. After blanching and peeling tomatoes for some other use, save those skins and weigh them. (I've found the skins from 4 medium tomatoes generally amounts to around 45 grams.)
  3. Spread out the tomato skins on a parchment- or Silpat-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with the coarse salt (that you've measured out to be equal in weight to the tomato skins).
  4. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the tomato skins are completely dry, like (salt-encrusted) autumn leaves. For the skins of 4 medium tomatoes, this takes around 2 to 3 hours; larger batches will likely take longer.
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool. Then, pulverize the salty skins into tomato skin salt either in a spice mill or mortar and pestle. A small food processor works too, but you might not be able to get the skins to break down as finely.

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Reviews (33) Questions (0)

33 Comments

jy2nd July 28, 2017
Wanted you to know that your idea has impressed the Ottolenghi folks. I was reading Plenty and saw a recipe that said "discard the tomato skins". I emailed them and complained that they were wasting a valuable resource. They replied that they loved the idea and that their test chefs were impressed and planning to work with the tomato salt. I did give you credit and said the recipe had been published on Food 52.
 
Author Comment
Lindsay-Jean H. July 28, 2017
Wow, how fun! Thanks for letting me know!
 
Charlie February 11, 2017
What would you use it for?
 
Author Comment
Lindsay-Jean H. February 11, 2017
Anywhere you use salt and might want a hint of tomato flavor -- sprinkle it over everything from eggs to corn on the cob, use it to rim glasses for Bloody Marys, set out a little cellar of it to accompany fresh radishes with butter.
 
Frances Q. August 6, 2016
I made a kind of v8 juice and saved all the skins, seeds and spices. Dehydrated it and use that too. Very good.
 
Mary-Elizabeth T. August 5, 2016
I roast my tomatoes for sauce. I done peel them before because the skin slips right off when I cool the tomatoes. I have lovely oily carmelized skins. I do the same kind of thing, sort of. I put them in my dehydrator and when they're crumbly (or leathery, depending on how much tomatoey flesh is left on them), I grind them into breadcrumb-size bits. Then all winter they get tossed by the pinch-full into soup, meatloaf, stew, scrambled eggs...
 
Rhonda35 August 5, 2016
Funny to see this today as I just finished peeling a ton of peaches and set aside the skins, thinking I could dry them and grind them together with a little sugar. I'm going to follow your process and see what happens. :-)
 
Renee B. August 5, 2016
Please report back.
 
Rhonda35 August 6, 2016
It worked out perfectly! Ground the dried peach skins first, measured the volume I ended up with, added the same amount of sugar and ground again. I now have a jar filled with delicious, peachy, sweet goodness to be sprinkled onto/into...everything!<br />
 
Author Comment
Lindsay-Jean H. August 6, 2016
Yum! Love this idea Rhonda35, glad it worked out, I'll have to try it!
 
Letitia J. August 6, 2016
Did you cook them in the oven first to dry out? If so, how long did it take?
 
Rhonda35 August 6, 2016
Yes, Letitia. I followed steps 3 and 4 above, but without the salt. 200 degree oven, skins spread on parchment-lined baking sheet, baked in oven until skins were completely dried.
 
Letitia J. August 8, 2016
Thanks Rhonda!
 
Renee B. September 20, 2015
Another flavored salt recipe I just found. Both of these together would make a great holiday gift. I've not made either yet but will since have oodles of ripe tomatoes in the garden and we eat lots of celery. <br />http://chocolateandzucchini.com/recipes/sauces-condiments/homemade-celery-salt-recipe/
 
Panfusine August 27, 2015
made a batch of this last week.. fabulous keeper of a recipe.. can't believe I've been wasting this much flavor all along! thanks so much for sharing it.
 
Author Comment
Lindsay-Jean H. August 27, 2015
Thank you so much, I'm glad you enjoyed it!
 
Misty August 23, 2015
Great idea. My main thing to do with tomato skins and other edible scraps of food that might other wise get thrown out is to put them in a freezer bag and freeze. When filled-make stock. The full recipe, as such is at food.com.
 
Katherine W. August 22, 2015
Just made it and it turned out perfectly. Thanks for the great recipe!
 
Author Comment
Lindsay-Jean H. August 27, 2015
Happy to hear it was a hit!
 
em-i-lis August 12, 2015
Making this now and am psyched as I had nearly 200 grams of just-blanched tomato skin and hated to send it to the compost. Remembered this- thanks Lindsay-Jean!!
 
Author Comment
Lindsay-Jean H. August 12, 2015
Hooray! Hope you like it Emily!
 
Kelly O. August 9, 2015
And how would you use this?
 
Author Comment
Lindsay-Jean H. August 10, 2015
Anywhere! Well, this might not be the salt to sprinkle on chocolate chip cookies, but it's really versatile -- I share some specific ideas in the related article: https://food52.com/blog/13558-a-good-reason-to-peel-your-tomatoes-turn-them-into-salt
 
Kelly O. August 10, 2015
Excellent, Thanks!!!
 
Carol W. August 7, 2015
can I use my Excaliber dehydrator at the same temp? My oven is loud and obnoxious and it is HOT outside.
 
Author Comment
Lindsay-Jean H. August 9, 2015
I don't have a dehydrator, but please report back if you try it, that way others can learn from you!
 
boulangere August 5, 2015
I make a similar salt with dried mushrooms (portabellas, shitake).
 
Author Comment
Lindsay-Jean H. August 5, 2015
I've heard that before and meant to try it, but it dropped off of my radar. Thanks for the reminder!
 
Anne B. August 5, 2015
Thanks for the great idea! How should this be stored and how long will it last?
 
Author Comment
Lindsay-Jean H. August 5, 2015
You'll want to put this in an air-tight container and keep it in a cupboard—it should last for a couple of months.
 
Beth100 August 5, 2015
I just made this, and while the amount of salt looked excessive going into the oven, the finished product looks just like the picture. I'm looking forward to giving it a try, maybe in the bolognese sauce that inspired me to blanch a bunch of tomatoes in the first place!
 
N D. August 3, 2015
Where did you purchase the container for the tomato skin salt?
 
Author Comment
Lindsay-Jean H. August 4, 2015
It's an egg coddler! You can find a similar one here: https://food52.com/shop/products/1133-egg-coddler