We only planted two tomato plants this year, but between the harvest from those and everything from Sola Gratia Farm…..the tomatoes are taking over. To top it off I had some kind of stomach bug for part of the week which had me steering clear of things like tomatoes….so we found ourselves with a glut of tomatoes.

The easiest thing to do is of course is a batch or two of tomato sauce. I made one straight up, just plain old tomatoes (whirled in a food processor) cooked down. No flavoring so I could do whatever I wanted to do with it at a later date. Into the freezer it went. Last night when I realized I had another pile of tomatoes begging to be put out of their misery I made another batch. This time I sauteed the big old onion I'd gotten in my half share with a couple of chopped cloves of garlic. Then I tossed in tomato after tomato and even the eggplant I had never used. I put it all in my big Le Creuset and covered it so all that goodness would stay in there.

I'm pretty casual (read lazy, read peasant cook) about skins so I will just give it a whirl with my stick blender and cook it down a bit more and into the freezer IT goes too.

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My very favorite way to use tomatoes when you are overwhelmed by them however is from the New Basics cookbook that came out in the late 80's. I admit I don't make much from this anymore though I still have the battered thing on my cookbook shelf but I love this recipe—or method I guess.

Fresh Tomato Paste
New Basics, by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, 1989

5 lbs large ripe tomatoes (6 or 7), cored and quartered

Place the tomatoes in a 4-quart microwave safe bowl and cook, uncovered at full power (650 to 700 watts) for 10 minutes. Stir, breaking up the tomaotes and cook another 10 minutes. Stir again, and cook 20 minutes more.

Pass the mixture through a food mill and return it to the bowl. Cook for 30 minutes; stir, and cook another 15 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a deep 2 1/2 -quart microwave-safe casserole. Cook 20 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure it does not burn. This will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days. Or, freeze in ice cube trays, then transfer to plastic bags and store in the freezer.

Now, do I always pass them through a food mill? Nah, although I have done it and it does make it beautifully smooth. Sometimes I just use a stick blender to break up the skin or put it in a food processor. I do put them in ice cube trays and then they are there to use as straight tomato past or just to add a mysterious sweetness to a soup or stew or sauce. Because there is no other seasoning you end up with pure essence of tomato. 


Any tomato glut recommendations out there?

2 thoughts on “Tomato Glut? Sola Gratia Farm: Week Fourteen

  1. Last year I made Mark Bittman’s Tomato Jam. If you don’t feel like eating the entire batch with a spoon, it’s great on sandwiches, plain on a baguette, in a grilled cheese, an omelette, hell…maybe over ice cream. And it keeps way longer than one week, like months and months, if it lasts that long.
    I didn’t even plant tomatoes this season, the last few years have been so miserable what with the excessive heat and the lack of rain, it didn’t seem worth the effort.