What To Do With All Those Tomatoes
Ok, so you went overboard with tomato plants this year and now you have an abundant crop, too abundant. Your neighbors thank you for your thoughtfulness and your family has had its fill already of BLT’s and homemade tomato sauce. Here are 10 other ways to enjoy tomatoes while they last.
1) Layer slices of them in a prepared pastry crust; top them the slices with grated cheese and some minced fresh herbs like basil and thyme. Drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven. Cut and serve in wedges.
2) Stuff large hollowed out beefsteak tomatoes with cooked rice, quinoa or barley flavored with oregano, fresh lemon juice and capers. Makes a great salad or side.
3) Make a tomato and eggplant lasagne using alternate layers of thin sliced tomatoes, eggplant and mozzarella cheese. Bake covered at 350F for 35-40 minutes. Let stand covered to set before cutting. Serve room temperature.
4) Make an uncooked tomato sauce using cherry tomatoes cut in half, minced garlic, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper. Combine ingredients with tomatoes and let stand at room temperature for several hours before mixing with hot pasta such as rigatoni. Pass the cheese.
5) Make a tasty tomato relish with skinned, seeded and chopped tomatoes mixed with diced sweet pickles, diced apples and raisins. Great on fish, pork and chicken.
6) Dry plum tomatoes using a dehydrator or your oven; store in plastic bags and freeze to use in soups, stews and sauces. Or preserve dried tomatoes in olive oil.(see recipe www.ciaoitalia.com)
7) Puree garden tomatoes with fresh mint, then sieve out the seeds and skin and pour yourself a healthy tomato drink; serve cold
8) Freeze plum tomatoes whole; use for making sauces, soups and stews
9) Throw a tomato party where every course stars the tomato! Roasted tomatoes served on lightly fried sourdough bread for appetizer; fresh tomato soup, grilled beef and cherry tomato kabobs, tomato, mozzarella and basil salad and for dessert, yes, chocolate tomato cake.
10) “Candied” cherry tomatoes are delicious and easy to make. Cut 4 cups cherry tomatoes in half and place in large bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and place them on a non-stick baking sheets. Sprinkle the tomatoes with 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and bake them at 400F until they begin to shrivel and give off their juices. Let them bake until they look glazed. Toss them once or twice while baking. Eat then like candy or use them to top grilled fish or pork; makes a great crostini topper and is perfect as a sauce for pasta.