Last updated on February 23rd, 2012
HAVE TOMATOES SWALLOWED EVERY WORK-SURFACE IN YOUR KITCHEN, TOO? I planted 16 heirloom varieties back in June, and now, after months of careful watering and some decent weather, I can hardly keep up with the produce. (Pictured above is at least 10 lbs. of fruit I collected just this morning, in the rain.) Can you help me out here? How are you using or preserving your own, blessed harvest of “Love Apples?”
What I’ve made so far:
Tomato Pie. I’ve made 15 of these since August. You use store-bought biscuits for the crust, add thick slices of tomatoes and chopped fresh basil, then top the whole thing with mayonnaise and cheddar cheese before baking. The recipe.
Stuffed Tomatoes Provencal. A French classic that’s truly easy to make. The filling is an aromatic blend of garlic, parsley and fresh bread crumbs. I like to fill the tomato halves in advance, and then bake them just before serving.
Lazy Sunday Tomato Sauce. This is the sauce I freeze each autumn. I call it “Lazy Sunday” because it takes several hours to cook the tomatoes down to a thick consistency. Richly infused with garlic and basil, I love to serve this over pasta for a simple fireside dinner in winter.
Canning. This is a new skill for me. But my friends over on Facebook talked me through it. Canning isn’t hard work; it’s just time-consuming. To insure the tomatoes are acidic enough for hot waterbath canning, I add one 1/2 teaspoon of “Fruit Fresh” to each pint of sauce. Otherwise my sauce is just pure tomatoes which have been blanched, peeled, and somewhat seeded.
I’m embarrassed to show you the tomato sandwich I eat daily for lunch (just like Harriet the Spy). Let’s just say it involves 2 thick tomato slices, 1 slice of homemade mozzarella, 3 leaves of basil, and mayonnaise-slathered Wonder bread. Shame on me.
So how are you dealing with the tomatoes from your own garden? Got any recipes you can post (or link to)? Any preserving tips to share? Do any of you roast your tomatoes before turning them into sauce? (This roasting-idea sounds rather intriguing.) Spill your pulp, please, in the comments thread below.
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