Monday, September 17, 2007

Tomatoes, we have tomatoes

I don't know what to do with all the tomatoes!

Herb planted his usual 16 or so plants... Fourth of July, Early Girl, Celebrity, Brandywine, Big Boy, Viva Italia, Sweet 100, and a new one (for us) this year, Principe Borghese, a drying tomato.
Even with the damaging hail in June, it would have been plenty. More than plenty.

But the CSA farmer we are participating with is supplying us with her plenty as well, and I am running out of ideas!

(Hi Pat! Doesn't she have a pretty set-up!)

I took some to the relatives, and gave some to the kids. Froze some whole, made sauce to freeze, and dried a couple of quarts in my dehydrator.

My favorite recipe to diminish the bounty is to cook Sweet 100s into a topping for bruschetta. I vary it with a variety of cheeses and different herbs, but always like rosemary the very best. I'll find a copy of the recipe and post it later.

Anyway, my Master Gardener friend Francine mentioned making catsup last week when I was at the farmers' market picking up my CSA share. (She was at the MG table, offering advice to the crowd. I always stop to ask 'what is the question of the day?' lately it's been Japanese Beetles. uGGH!)

The word catsup sparked a creative synapse in my mind, so here is a catsup recipe I played around with last week, it's easy and fast ... and it tastes pretty good too.

I had red and yellow tomatoes from Pat, so the catsup turned out a burnished orange color, quite pretty!

Roasted Tomato Catsup

1 1/2 - 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, remove stems ends and cut in half
3 -4 tablespoons sunflower oil, divided

1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced

1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place tomatoes in an oiled casserole and brush tops with oil. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until they begin to carmelize on top.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and saute the onions and garlic until translucent.
If your tomatoes are homegrown and therefore truly ripe, they will produce a lot of extra juice, so transfer them with a slotted spoon to a blender and process until smooth. (Refrigerate the juice for other use.) Add the tomato puree to the remaining ingredients in the saucepan and continue cooking, uncovered for 20 t0 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until thick. Refrigerate and USE it!


Colleen said...

My tomato patch is about 1/4 the size of yours, but I know I'm at the "what do I do with all of these tomatoes?" stage, too. I've dried a few batches. Ketchup is something i hadn't thought of before, and that recipe sounds tasty!

Betsy, weeding at... said...

Hi Colleen!
Although I don't usually leave comments anywhere (I'd never get out in the yard!), I am reading your blog - I like to see what other Michigan gardeners are up to, and by limiting myself to 'local' it is a way of getting control over my impulse to read read read instead of weed weed weed. Make hay while the sun shines:)
My old canner doesn't fit my rangetop, so I had an excuse to quit canning years ago, though tomatoes are one of the easiest foods to can. I have a great canned salsa recipe somewhere around here.
I think I read Elliot Coleman say drying was his favorite method of tomato storage, so I don't feel so bad. Freezing paste tomatoes whole is great, but I only have so much freezer space!
If you have any more ideas, I'll be reading your web log!