Sunday, September 13, 2009

Using Up Tomatoes

I hadn't gone out to pick tomatoes in several days, so today there were most of a colander's worth of cherry tomatoes and several full-size ones of several varieties that were ready to be picked. Quite a few were overripe on the vine, in fact, and went straight into the compost pile. Also I was surprised to find this large summer squash hiding under the leaves. My zucchini plants wilted suddenly a couple of weeks ago and now you can hardly even see where they were, but the yellow squash plant is still vigorous and is suddenly churning out new babies like crazy. Maybe it's this warm weather we've been having lately. The huge pink-and-yellow tomato stem-side down next to the squash is one of the Striped Germans that are so pretty to look at.

The Striped German, a Tasty Evergreen, a Green Zebra and a couple of more generic red tomatoes got chopped up and mixed with chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, a small jalapeno pepper finely diced while wearing rubber gloves, lime juice, salt, and pepper to make a large batch of fresh salsa that will make a nice topping for quesadillas or grilled meat.

I decided to try to preserve more of the cherry tomatoes for later eating (I recently dried some in the oven). I followed a simple recipe for sauteed cherry tomatoes which was meant to be eaten immediately as a side dish, but decided I would freeze it in several batches.

After weeding out a few I had picked that looked a bit too mushy, I nearly filled a souffle dish with halved cherry tomatoes. I also picked some basil, thyme and parsley from the garden.

Into a large frying pan went 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and when it was hot the tomatoes followed. After just a few minutes of sauteeing, I added some garlic puree and when that had become fragrant I added the chopped herbs, salt and pepper and took the mixture off the heat.

When the sauteed tomatoes had cooled, I filled 3 small containers with the fruit (or vegetables, if you prefer) and their copious liquid and put them into the freezer to enjoy on a fall or winter day. I'll try to remember to report on how they are when we get around to eating them.

I still have several more tomatoes ready to eat, and plenty more on the vine. Maybe nine tomato plants was a bit too much, but it's a wonderful situation to be in!

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Mary S. said...

These sound good!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Your cherry tomato recipe sounds delish! I'm going to give it a try.

Denise said...

Timely post--I just came in from the garden where I picked 72 Early
Girl tomatoes. It's BLTs for dinner and the rest I'll cook down into tomato puree to enjoy this winter. I'm going to try your cherry tomato recipe--still lots of them on the vine. Thanks for the great tomato recipes!

Catalina said...

Yum Yummy!
Great pictures!
I too love striped german.
They are so huge and this year with my tomato walls they are growing 4 to 6 feet up in the air!
Quite a sight to see.