General Question

kfingerman's avatar

What should I do with all these tomatoes?

Asked by kfingerman (992points) August 30th, 2008

They come out of the garden and they’re tasty, but there are too many of them. I never thought I’d have this problem. I’m gonna make salsa. Maybe roast some. Some caprese salad. Ideas? Recipes?

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35 Answers

poofandmook's avatar

Pasta sauce?

seVen's avatar

Marinara sauce, spaghetti sauce,pizza sauce.

as well as green pickled tomato salad with shreded cabbage is good.

2late2be's avatar

Entomatadas!!! They’re just like enchiladas but with tomatoes instead of chile rojo, with chicken!! They’re very good!!

breedmitch's avatar

Make friends with Poser.

gailcalled's avatar

I suppose you have already given away all that you dare? Or are your neighbors secretly leaving you their baskets of produce in the dead of night?

Put a box of them on the curb with a sign saying, “Help yourself.”

JackAdams's avatar

Or, Catsup!

August 30, 2008, 4:26 PM EDT

charliecompany34's avatar

if you have some young tomatoes that are still green, they are delectable for pan frying with a dredge of cornmeal salt and pepper. serve with all summer dishes! seeing lots of red? chop up or dice and pressure seal for use in sauces and salsas. got a lot of tomatoes? do the same, but freeze and use in chilis and stews for winter months ahead.

cooksalot's avatar

Salsa, you can freeze it no problem. Spaghetti sauce that freezes great too. Fire roasted tomatoes, have to can those. Just can them or dice and can. Seed them, peel them, and puree then can them. Make Salsa Verde with the green tomatoes, you can freeze that. How about some Chow Chow, or Piccalilli preserves. Here’s a start at the Oregon State Extension Service where I was trained.

greylady's avatar

You can cook them in a large stew pot on low heat until they cook down into tomato sauce. Then can it in pint or quart jars, or freeze it in bags, in the amount you use for spaghetti or lasagna sauce. Add some dill and garlic while it cooks down, or any other flavors you like. Oregano, basil, celery seed, etc. When it is thick, you can strain it, or not, depending on whether or not you mind the seeds. The skins will be almost gone after a few hours of cooking.

JackAdams's avatar

I really LOVE ripe tomatoes!

I dated a few, in college.

August 30, 2008, 4:50 PM EDT

Snoopy's avatar

@greylady. I need you to s-p-e-l-l it out for me…..We have a ton of tomatoes…..Do I just chop them up and cook them on low? Add water? Or what. I am hopeless in the kitchen.


wilhel1812's avatar

Throw them at cars!!

JackAdams's avatar

Throw them at bad comedians on stage!

August 30, 2008, 5:45 PM EDT

poofandmook's avatar

@greylady: So, I can throw a bunch of tomatoes in my crock pot and they’ll just be sauce when I get home?

gailcalled's avatar

Here we toast good bread with a little olive oil, thick slices of tomato, some decent mozarella and then sprinkle basil on it. We eat it until the frost comes. Then we switch to squash.

Here’s a slow cooker recipe with some useful comments.

jholler's avatar

dehydrate them. They will keep for a long time.

wilhel1812's avatar

make bruschetta

greylady's avatar

@ poof and snoopy, a crockpot will do it, but you have to leave the lid off. I use a stew pot, heavy stainless steel. Do not use aluminum cookware to cook tomatoes in. Put about 1/2 inch water in the pot, just enough to keep the tomatoes from burning at the start- soon they will fall apart and have plenty of juice to disseminate the heat. Turn the heat to med high until they boil, then turn to low-med, just so they keep simmering. Cut the tomatoes in half. cut out the stem and any bad spots, and drop them in the pot while it is heating. You can fill the pot about 2/3 to 3/4 full, or however many tomatoes you have to use up. Stir with a long handled wooden spoon. Add the herbs you like, and chopped onion and garlic if you like them. Just keep cooking them until enough water evaporates from them to make the sauce as thick as you like. Taste it often to see how your seasoning is – add small amounts of herbs at a time until it tastes good to you. If the sauce starts to stick at the bottom of the pot, you will need to stir more often and keep the heat low. This is not likely to happen with a crock pot, but you will be limited in how much you can cook in a day.
-let me know if you have any other questions, I’ll be glad to help if I can.

stratman37's avatar

when life hands you tomatoes, make tomato-aid!

Snoopy's avatar

@greylady THANK YOU

gailcalled's avatar

@greylady; I am personally a really lazy cook, but what about the tomato skins? Would it be easier to blanch and skin the tomatoes pre-sauce rather than go thru the messy job of straining? I don’t mine the seeds.

greylady's avatar

@gailcalled. Yes, you can slip the skins off after dipping tomatoes in boiling water for a couple of seconds. Or you can cook the skins in the sauce. I have done it both ways, but usually take the skins off first for myself. I don’t mind the seeds, either. The skins cook down to almost little red stick-like things that resemble soft toothpicks. They aren’t hard to chew, but might be unexpected to what most people are used to eating in the sauce. They don’t do anything for or against the flavor of the sauce, though.

millerralf's avatar

eat ‘em, can ‘em, give ‘em, trade ‘em. Question for you: if you’re no good in the kitchen,why do you have a garden? (you can do all of those wonderful recipes this winter and canning is character building!)
pass the salt and BLACK pepper, please.

gailcalled's avatar

I have a small garden because I do not like to cook. In the summer, I can eat almost everything raw-tomatoes herbsl, zucchini, peas, beans, salad greens, berries, peaches, melons,pears, (beetles, aphids, and a few ants).

My character has been built enough….all those jars, rubber sealers, tongs, heat and time. No thanks.

Snoopy's avatar

@millerralf. I agree w/ Gail. I don’t like to cook. But we have tomatoes, green peppers, cucumbers, green beans, leaf lettuce, cilantro, etc. We consume what we consume and share the rest. Canning? Something my grandmas did…..I would be too afraid of doing something wrong and a)either creating an explosive device or B) poisoning my family w/ botulism.

greylady's avatar

Snoopy and gailcalled, it is not necessary to can the tomato things if you freeze them in plastic bags made just for that. They will stack flat and take up less room. (If your grandmother could learn to use a pressure canner, you surely can learn it, too- if you want to! They are not that hard to use, and have safety valves. Also very good instruction books.)

gailcalled's avatar

I have no interest any longer in improving my culinary skills. (Better fish to fry.) Some people really love to cook; I am not one of them. But am happy to hang around good cooks. (Greylady; where do you live?)

greylady's avatar

I live in north central MN, not far from Itasca Park.

cyndyh's avatar

I make pasta sauce a bit differently when I have the big harvest all at once.

Cut the stems off of many tomatoes and then you can either stick them in a good blender, food processor, or use a stick mixer on the raw tomato halves. The skins will be broken up and you don’t need to remove them. Use fresh basil, garlic, thyme, and oregano. You have to chop the leaves off the stems. It will start off very very watery. Cook it all down in a pot or deep pan on medium low (about 2.5 if 1 is low and 10 is hi) while you’re watching tv and stir at commercials. It’ll start looking more the thickness of sauce when it’s ready.

If I put onions or meat in the sauce I’ll brown and drain that before adding the tomatoes to the pan and then cook it all down together, but the sauce is good by itself or as a base for other things.

breedmitch's avatar

@Gail: You won’t can tomatoes, but you’ll fry fish?

gailcalled's avatar

@Brian: Flaunt that metaphor, or, if you will, poke that duckling à l’orange with a stick. (Running off for an emergency trip to doc’s with my poor mom.)

kruger_d's avatar

Call a school and ask if the lunch program is allowed to use them. Plenty of kids have never tasted a homegrown tomato.
Have you tried slicing them thin, laying on parchment paper and oven drying them? Yum.

nomtastic's avatar

re: the original question… make tomato/apple chutney. it’s lovely and tastes oddly like pineapple. the interweb has plenty o’ recipes.

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