Please tell me that you read my title with a different accent for each ‘tomato’. That’s what I was thinking in my head when I wrote it.
This year, Theo and I attempted our first garden. Ok, I actually can’t really take any credit for it. Theo did all the work planting, transplanting, coaxing to grow, watering, and weeding. Now he is doing all the picking, too! We moved into our house in early May and Theo planted the plants in the garden plot as soon as possible. This garden plot was used last summer as well. Some things were off to a great start, some things really struggles, and some plants never even made it out of the ground. BUT, a lot of seedlings from last years garden sprouted up! Due to all the seedlings from last years garden, mixed with the seeds planted this year, WE HAVE TONS OF TOMATOES.
This is about the amount of tomatoes that we are pulling out of the garden every 2-3 days.
I have never really had the chance to experiment with cooking tomatoes, so on my facebook status I asked my friends for some good recipes using fresh tomatoes. I got lots of answers, and I am still working on making some of the things that were posted. This is just the start of the tomatoes from our garden!
The first recipe I decided to make was garden salsa. This recipe is SO GOOD. And, I got to use my new handy-dandy Pampered Chef manual food processor.
All I had to do was put all the ingredients in this thing, and then press down on the handle “in a rapid motion”. Seriously, thats it?
– 1 small onion, peeled
– 1 jalepno pepper, stemmed and seeded (diced if not using a food processor; cut into thirds if using one)
– 1/2 c loosely packed fresh cilantro
– 1 lime
– 2 garlic cloves
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 tsp. southwest seasoning
– about 2 cups of fresh chopped tomatoes (or if using the food processor, just skin them and put them in whole!)
Mix all together! Delish!
I will say that making the salsa using fresh tomatoes did make it a lot more runny than using canned tomatoes.
The next thing I decided to make was something in the crock pot. I figured that Spaghetti sauce would be easy and even easier to freeze, and even easier to pull out on one of those I-don’t-feel-like-cooking-dinner-but-I’m-starving days. I went on Pinterest and looked for some recipes for spaghetti sauce using fresh tomatoes, but you could also just measure the tomatoes by ounce to match the amount that is in a can.
I found the recipe I used here. I will say this about the recipe: she insists on using both cinnamon and brown sugar in the sauce. Which is all fine and dandy if you like your spaghetti sauce with a touch of sweet. I didn’t hate it, and neither did anyone else who participated in eating it all. BUT, it was sweet. Next time, I’m going to try a different recipe to see if we like it more.
I made one batch of that to freeze, and one batch (doubled) for dinner guests. At that point, I went outside and took a picture of the collection of tomatoes still left (see above picture), and decided that I needed to start freezing those suckers.
WARNING: freezing tomatoes is an EXTREMELY simple project, but its one of those ones that ends up taking FOREVA.
All you need to do to freeze tomatoes is to blanche them and then cut them up. I skinned mine, but that is very time consuming and I don’t think I will continue to do that with all the tomatoes from our garden.
1. Wash tomatoes off
2. Place tomatoes in boiling water. I just used my electric kettle to boil the water faster. Let sit for 2-3 minutes.
3. Drain the boiling water from the tomatoes and immediately add cold water. Let sit for 1-3 minutes
4. At this point, the skins should peel right off with only a little tugging. Skin and chop the tomatoes up.
I used my manual food processor for this step, too. You can also use a blender or any kind of food processor. Or you could just cut the tomatoes into halves or thirds and freeze them as chunks.
5. Place the tomatoes into Ziploc bags and throw them into the freezer! One thing I didn’t do at first that I will start doing now is measuring how much tomato I put into the baggies. It would be helpful to know this information so when I the time comes, I know how many baggies to thaw.
The last tomato recipe I have made in the past week was Bruschetta. My cousin gave me the recipe, but essentially it is:
-5-7 tomatoes, chopped
– 1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
– quarter to half diced onion
– 5-7 leaves fresh basil
– Olive oil
– Salt to taste
Mix in a bowl and serve on warm baguette.
And for a bonus, I made my own baguette, too! *cough*cough*inthebreadmachine*ahem*
Anybody else have any fresh garden tomato recipes they would like to contribute to our collection? We have lots more!