The best use of too many tomatoes is to make some sort of sauce or passata for use in winter. Simplest is to skin them, squeeze out most of seeds and roughly chop. Cook in a stockpot with some salt and when they have become a lovely mush, allow to cool, transfer to sealable freezer containers and freeze. I tip these frozen tomato iceblocks directly into casserole pots or soup pots, or else simmer and reduce in a frying pan with various additions such as a bit of red wine or sherry vinegar or capers, to make speedy pasta sauces. It is more fiddly to store the tomatoes in sealed jars as the sterilizing and sealing of the jars must be done properly.
Once you have made lots of sauce, here are a few other ideas for your abundant tomato crop!
Fill small blind-baked pastry cases with chunky, well-seasoned, garlickly, fresh tomato sauce that has been reduced until thick. Add some roasted peeled sweet peppers, if available. Stir in freshly chopped basil and warm for 5 mins in an oven set at 220degC. Serve topped with creme fraiche or soft fresh goat's cheese and a dollop of tapenade.
The quality of the tomatoes, sherry vinegar and oil is what makes a splendid rather than ordinary gazpacho. Find my recipe in The Cook's Companion book or App.
Reheat oven to 120°C. Fit a metal rack over a baking tray. Arrange tomato halves on rack, cut-side up. Brush with a generous quantity of oil, then sprinkle with salt, pepper and basil. Bake for 4–5 hours until tomatoes have shrunk and edges are shrivelled.
Sauce Vierge for Fish
Season diced ripe tomato with salt, pepper and a little wine vinegar and add a generous quantity of herbs and an even more generous quantity of barely warmed extra-virgin olive oil. Serve as a sauce with grilled fish. I like it spooned over fried eggs!
Fried Green Tomato
Dip thickly sliced green tomato into lightly whisked egg and then polenta and fry in EVOO until golden and crunchy. Great with anchovies, bacon or sausages, or just as they are.
The Cook’s Companion App and book.