Wild Cherry Tomatoes - I'm swamped
This year, I participated in a seed library which lead to growing all sorts of new plants in the garden. The most successful was the Wild Cherry Tomato. Each fruit is between 1/4 to 1/2 an inch across, and the most potent tomato taste ever. It tastes like someone packed the flavour of a dozen regular size tomatoes into tiny taste explosions. BEST TOMATO FLAVOUR EVER!
Only, there are a lot of them. 7 days ago, not a single one was ripe, now I'm getting about 4 dozen every two days. And the season is just getting started. As delicious and tiny as they are, there are only so many tomatoes a girl can eat in a day. Even a girl who loves pasta as much as I do.
Looking for inspiration for preserving these delightful little gems so I can enjoy them all year. We're not canning this year, but fermenting and drying are possible.
I was thinking of drying them on the dehydrator, maybe do a tray or two a day until the frost comes - Only when I dry tomatoes they turn out hard. Even if I store them in olive oil, I just get crunchy, greasy tomatoes. There has to be a trick to it. I assume I take out the seeds before drying? They are about 50/50 seed to flesh ratio.
I'm searching around online of course, but I would love to hear what you do with your tomato avalanche this time of year. Please share your inspiration.
Now I almost wish I had planted twice as many tomatoes.
This is one of the traditional ways used for small tomato varieties grown on the Vesuvius near Naples (search for “pomodorini in salamoia” for more precise recipes) and I just love how the tomatoes stay pretty close to their fresh state…
regarding your drying questions: if the tomatoes are small and/or not very watery, do leave the seeds in – they contain so much flavour and help get that perfect slightly chewy texture. I’m not familiar with using a dehydrator, but isn’t there a way to adjust some settings (if nothing else, a shorter drying time) to get them the way you like them?
2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
1 teaspoon fine chopped tarragon
1 teaspoon light Muscovado sugar (or use light brown sugar)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
9 oz. ripe cherry tomatoes (I prefer Sugar Plum tomatoes)
sea salt and pepper
4 slices of your favorite country bread (I use a split baguette)
½ cup soft fresh goat cheese, to spread (you could use whipped cream cheese with chives or another spreadable cheese, like Rondele, instead)
8 slices of prosciutto (you could use luncheon meat, or thinly sliced ham, chicken or turkey instead)
Preheat the oven to 320°.
In a shallow baking dish, combine the garlic, tarragon, brown sugar, vinegar, and oil. Add the tomatoes, mix and season with salt and pepper.
Place in the oven and bake for 1 to 1½ hours, until the tomatoes are soft.
Toast the bread and spread with the goat cheese. Top each tartine with 2 slices of prosciutto and a few of the roasted tomatoes. Drizzle some of the oil over and sprinkle with a little salt.
For a kick of heat you could throw in a pinch of red pepper flakes or minced fresh chili pepper like serrano or habanero.
It's not such a terrible problem, is it? Really, one plant would have been enough per person per year, these are exceptionally prolific and surprisingly drought tolerant for tomato. I wanted to get as much genetic diversity as I could for seed saving, so I have about 20 plants. gulp.
I'll probably freeze a few, but right now I'm trying to empty the freezer for the fall lamb and goat harvest. I guess drying is my best bet.
Eating fresh is good too. I love the recipes for tomatoes on the site... but what's your personal favourite way to devour tiny tomatoes?
Voted the Best Reply!
And you could overnight a crate of them to me :-)