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How to use up tomatoes

Tomato is the flavour of the week here at The Drew Patch. As the piles have mounted on the bench I have often found myself thinking and praying . . . what will I do with all these tomatoes! So starting last Saturday, I will take you through some of the ideas I have come up with.

Saturday the 19th: Tomato-Basil Salad to take to a family birthday gathering. This was yummy with things, but would be too strong on its own.

Sunday: we enjoyed fried tomatoes along with zucchini and egg for breakfast, and added a few tomatoes to our baked beans for lunch.

Monday: I decided radical action was needed to address the mounting tomato piles! Fresh Tomato Sauce was the answer. Four kilos of tomato would not fit in the pan I chose, so I ended up making about 2 1/2 kg. We ate it with spiral pasta.

Tuesday: Dave loves macaroni cheese baked with tomatoes on the top, so that is what we had on Monday. Spy the tiny person keeping me company while I cooked . . .

What a pleasure it is to have tiny people around to smile up at me.Cooking can take twice as long with two bottoms to keep clean and dry at the same time, but it is worth the work!

Wednesday: We needed a break from pasta, so I decided to preserve some diced tomatoes to use in cooking later. I planned a freezer meal so I would have time to do this. I also needed a reasonably clean kitchen with a clear sink and benches. Here are all the washed tomatoes and the jars ready to go.

I used a wide variety of tomatoes:

I then diced them all (without peeling as I did not have time), and placed them in a giant saucepan that we received as a wedding gift.

Once they were cooked I heated the jars and poured them in using a soup ladle and my milk bottle funnel. I used the hot water bath method to preserve them for future use.

There was exactly the right amount for seven jars. You can also see my milk bottle funnel pictured!

Thursday: back to pasta! I used the remaining fresh tomato sauce along with some mince for lasagna, along with cherry tomatoes in a salad with lettuce, spring onion, and other garden veggies.

Friday: Pizza with lots of tomatoes . . .

Our latest fun idea is to top our homemade bases with garlic butter (made from our own garlic!) then layer on lots and lots of cherry and plum tomatoes. This picture is of our pizzas in progress. I placed lots of basil below the tomatoes.

Saturday: Dave made a delicious tomato and basil palilf, a rice dish we had not had before.

Do you have any more ideas for using up tomatoes . . . as you can see from the picture above we still have piles of them! Spy them behind the pizzas!

I plan to share this post via the Tuesday Garden Party.

Anna  – (March 30, 2011 at 11:52 AM)  

Thanks so much for this post. I have been thinking back to last summer when I had more tomatoes than I knew what to do with. This is the perfect post for me - I've been looking into how to can them this year. Hopefully my little seedlings will make it to be as productive as yours. :)
I also love putting them on top of mac n cheese. yum.
So thankful for your fellowship over the internet. ;)

Sherrin  – (March 30, 2011 at 2:11 PM)  

Hello Anna,
You have encouraged me today! Thank you very much for taking the time to share your comment. We are very blessed to have such productive tomato plants this year! I look forward to hearing how your seedlings go :)

Felicity –   – (March 30, 2011 at 6:30 PM)  

Hi Sherrin,

I have made Tomato Salsa (which James thought was better than the shop bought) and Tomato Sauce. The Salsa was alot quicker to make so I'll be making that again so we can enjoy our piles of tomatoes latter in the year.
I also label our Jars so I know which ones to use first.
Your meals look great, I will have to try some next tomato season.

Sherrin  – (March 30, 2011 at 8:53 PM)  

Thanks for sharing, Felicity! I would be interested in getting your Salsa recipe. Was it from the Internet? I labeled my tomato jars after taking the picture. Today I have been very busy freezing tomatoes!

Felicity –   – (March 31, 2011 at 9:05 AM)  

I can't remember the website I got the recipe from but it was from an American website because they called capsicum peppers. Here is the recipe:

8 cups of tomatoes, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups onions, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup green capsicum, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup red capsicum, coarsely chopped
3 gloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup coriander (I used dried coriander)
2/3 cup red wine vinegar (I used Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper (white or black)

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer once mixture is boiling. Stir often for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and ladle into hot, sterilized jars and seal. (Makes around 6 - 2 cup jars).

Note: I needed to simmer the mixture for about a hour so it was salsa consistency.
- I'm going to make another lot tonight and will add capsicum last so I can puree the tomato mixture as I hadn't peeled to Tomatoes, and want more chunks of capsicum in the salsa.

Sherrin  – (March 31, 2011 at 7:47 PM)  

Wonderful Felicity! I appreciate the fact that you have taken the time to share your recipe and how it has worked for you. I would love to try it another year if not this one. It is fun to hear what you have been doing with your tomatoes! Well done for being so diligent with them although you are busy working during the day.

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