Sunday, March 1, 2009

Swimming in tomatoes

In early January I was moping around the garden wondering why I didn't have any ripe tomatoes yet.

Fast forward to the end of February and I am drowning in tomatoes. We are picking buckets this big every couple of days! Not bad for a first time gardener. I am wondering if maybe I planted too many cherry toms but I have started eating them as snacks and for almost every meal!

The mission to use all our tomatoes began this week. So far we have made a tomato sauce/ passata, a tomato relish, a gazpacho soup, and tomato and basil sorbet. We have also unfortunately started to become inundated with zucchinis (a few we didn't notice in the garden got to 900g!!!). So the pickling adventures also begin!
The gazpacho was a revelation. I have never made it before and didn't realise how easy it was! I had some left over home made spelt bread which I whizzed up to bread crumbs in a food processor. I then processed about 700g tomatoes, 150g of cucumbers (also from the garden), added 150g of the bread crumbs and then added 2 cloves of garlic, a cup of water, salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce. Leave in the fridge for an hour (or overnight - I am still eating it and it is beautiful), add some good quality olive oil to serve and enjoy! I think I will try serving it with some tomato sorbet next time.

We made a batch of passatta earlier in the week. I haven't tried the results yet (as we have so many fresh ones still!) but I followed a recipe by Maggie Beer. I am a little concerned with shelf life as I have not made preserves of any kind before - any information from worldly bloggers reading this would be appreciated!

And this is the latest preserve -tomato relish based on a Stephanie Alexander recipe. It seems a bit thinner than I am used to but I haven't tried it yet. I was also thinking a tomato jam might be nice but cannot find a recipe I am happy with.

Of I go to make some zucchini bread and butter pickles. Happy eating everyone!


Duncan | syrupandtang said...

What a fantastic harvest! My little heritage tomatoes also went nuts when the heat hit.

It's not the weather for it really, but Elizabeth David has a great recipe in French Provincial Cooking for a dish of zucchini and tomato (and parsley, I think). Hearty and delicious.

Ran said...

i wish my parsley was still around but it has gone to seed as usual in this weather. that dish sounds nice. i made zucchini bread and butter pickles and they are quite good.

the heirloom tommies definitely have the best yields, next year i will only plant them i think

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