Tomato Powder Might Sound Weird — But We're Super Into It
Is your pantry missing this flavor-packed pasta booster?
Call it one of those hiding-in-plain-sight ingredients. "Tomato powder is a staple in the Beat Bobby Flay pantry," says Food Network stylist Richmond Flores, who runs the kitchen and food supplies for the competition show. "We always have it on hand." FN culinary producer Morgan Hass is also a huge fan. Made from dehydrated tomato that's been ground down to a fine dust, "it's great as a booster to make yummy spice rubs and seasonings, for amping up umami flavor and giving a certain je ne sais quoi to popcorn," she says.
Richmond first came across the ingredient working restaurants: "We'd save our scraps from meal prep and they would go in the dehydrator," he recalls. "We used it for palmiers, cheese straws or for anything needing tomato flavor without adding extra moisture — it infuses well with fat and acids." Fortunately, you don't need to make tomato powder yourself to try it. Spice House sells it by the bottle, and you can find it in bigger retailers, like Walmart or Amazon.
Ready to take the plunge? One of Morgan's favorite uses for the seasoning is also the simplest, as in this 5-ingredient recipe for Pasta with Herbed Tomato Butter and Parmesan Cheese (pictured above). Tomato powder also appears in Bobby Flay's bouillabaisse and Food Network Kitchen's Pasta with Short Rib Ragu.
Or just improvise, Morgan advises. "I use tomato powder in chicken thighs with onions and herbs (my son loves these), dips (like a quick tomato oil), spreads (tomato-herb cream cheese!) and on garlic-rubbed toast drizzled with oil. Oh boy, I could go on and on…."