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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.

trampledbygeese is a trusted home cook.

asked over 2 years ago
29 answers 1433 views
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added over 2 years ago

We have the same problem (blessing?) and my mother usually makes a LOT of sauce and freezes it. She doesn't cook it very much, and keeps it quite chunky and sparse of seasoning so that it is multipurpose -- it's basically a blank canvas that way, you can eventually defrost and cook it down to a thinner sauce and add whatever seasonings work for your dish.

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trampledbygeese

trampledbygeese is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Great answers, thanks guys.

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?

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aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

I just took a closer look at your profile picture - are you a Pastafarian? Touched by His Noodley Appendage? Ha - I love that!

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trampledbygeese

trampledbygeese is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Grabs eyepatch and tricorn hat - oh yes! A Pastafarian of the Whole Wheat variety. Whole Wheat Pastafarians see the teachings of his noodliness as a sign that it is our purpose in life to create the most wonderful food possible, and to leave the land happy and healthy so that future generations can enjoy pasta too. So, in other words, I'm a eco-loving hippy foodie farmer type.

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aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

That's awesome - we need to hang out!

05d07179 8ac1 49f8 83d7 a479a1a82a59  img print 5835 1
added over 2 years ago

This won't make much of a dent in your overall stash, but...poke a few holes in the tomatoes with a thin skewer, then marinate in a few glugs of vodka and some grinds of black pepper. These are a tasty happy hour snack with a dish of good salt for dipping!

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trampledbygeese

trampledbygeese is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Oh wow! That sounds amazing. Questions: Would gin work? Room temp or fridge? How long do they last?

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added over 2 years ago

Funny, have never made them with gin, but I'm sure they would be tasty. I typically marinate them overnight in the fridge, but would bet that room temp would be ok, given they're bathing in alcohol! I've made them up to two days in advance for parties as well.
For a kick of heat you could throw in a pinch of red pepper flakes or minced fresh chili pepper like serrano or habanero.

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trampledbygeese

trampledbygeese is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

I wonder what the gin/vodka tastes like afterwards.

05d07179 8ac1 49f8 83d7 a479a1a82a59  img print 5835 1
added over 2 years ago

that is a burning question that i really need to answer...for science.

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added over 2 years ago

This doesn't help with preserving or dehydrating, but my tomato spice cake will use up almost 2 pounds of any kind of fresh tomatoes, and has proven to be a real crowd-pleaser. (If you don't mention that there are tomatoes in it, skeptics are more likely to try it, and many tasters won't notice!) Recipe: https://food52.com/recipes...

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trampledbygeese

trampledbygeese is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Tomatoes in cake? Wow! On my list of things to try.

7be9269b 4bd3 4776 a58a 1796fcfd4f04  2016 03 22 12 44 46
added over 2 years ago

I have to try this, sounds incredible!

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Diana B

Diana B is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Do you do any canning/preserving? If so, a nice batch of tomato jam could put a serious dent in your bounty! Here's one I ran across this morning: http://growitcookitcanit...

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trampledbygeese

trampledbygeese is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Oh, that looks tasty. Not doing canning this year because I'm super pi..ed off at the family. They ask for me to can stuff, then they don't eat it. If I can get my hands on a smaller canner I might cook some just for me.

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Diana B

Diana B is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

I understand perfectly, which is why some of my friends no longer get any of my home preserves, and my neighbors have benefited accordingly!

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Diana B

Diana B is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

I wish I could remember where I got this recipe to give credit, but it's fabulous for summer:

Tartine
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.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

I spread a bunch on a cookie sheet and froze them. Then I put them in a ziplock freezer bag. I pulled a few out and used them in the Martha pasta dish. It turned out great. I threw in some dehydrated cherry tomatoes in it too and they softened right up. Delicious.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 2 years ago

Just saw your freezer comment. Dehydrate a ton. Mine really did soften right up in the pasta dish. I put some preserved lemon peel in it..great combination.

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Kristen W.

Kristen W. is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

I second the slow roasting idea. So simple to do, but it uses up a lot of them and packs SO MUCH flavor into one bite! I just did that with some cherry tomatoes from the garden, and I'm just in love with them right now as an addition to egg and pasta dishes of all kinds, just to mentions couple of vehicles for them.

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added over 2 years ago

oh what a beautiful and delicious problem to have!
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?

7be9269b 4bd3 4776 a58a 1796fcfd4f04  2016 03 22 12 44 46
added over 2 years ago

oh and if you do change your mind about canning (not for your family just to preserve without using up freezer space): my favourite way to can small and sweet tomatoes while keeping most of their fresh flavour is whole in a very light brine. you pack your jars as full of whole tomatoes, add a bit of salt (1-2 teaspoons for a pint-sized jar) and water to fill about 3/4 of the jar (don’t fill them completely, since the tomatoes will release some juices, too); add a bit of basil, oregano or garlic, if you want to, close the jars and can them (I do 15mins after I see the first bubbles rise inside the jars).
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…

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added over 2 years ago

Canal House cookbooks (sorry I can't remember exactly which one) has a recipe for tomato preserves that was a new and interesting twist. I'd share it with you if I knew how!

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added over 2 years ago

This sounds like a tomato that some people I know grow; they call it a "blueberry tomato" because of its size (and being in Maine and all). The slow roasted idea (you can leave a very low oven on all night) is the way to go with a real tomato deluge. I throw all sorts of tomatoes, big and small, in a big roasting pan, add salt, basil, sometimes garlic or onion, some olive oil. It's a forgiving sauce. When it cooks way down, I put it through a food mill and freeze it. Cherry tomatoes also do freeze well, although they tend to "explode" through their skins.

3fb571ec bb5c 4b1a 9697 437529e4f25a  eatthismyfriend logo
added over 2 years ago

I end up with a glut of them every year. I roast mine whole, then pop them through the mouli. What you're left with is a gorgeously sweet tomato sauce, that can be used in a myriad of ways.. e.g. add cumin seeds then drop in some eggs for a simple Shakshuka, or add a few pinches of paprika, a tray of roast potatoes and some freshly chopped parsley, and you have yourself some amazing patatas bravas, or you could even add some caramelised onions, a pinch of allspice and some cooked green beans, and serve atop a simple rice pilaf. Recipe here if you need http://www.eatthismyfriend...

F9be56d9 7141 45a2 8f54 8f740c8a257a  cherry tomato sauce 5

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trampledbygeese

trampledbygeese is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Such fantastic ideas! I knew I came to the right place to ask.
Now I almost wish I had planted twice as many tomatoes.

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AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 2 years ago

Pickle them. Paul Virant's "Preservation Kitchen" has an excellent recipe. They're simply wonderful, mid-winter, used in a tomato vinaigrette, the recipe for which he also provides. I had a few jars left over, which I've used this summer, cutting the pickles in half and combining with fresh cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs to make the most delightful relish; we've used it to make bruschetta, and to top grilled tuna, and the masa harina corn cakes that recently won the Best Corn contest. That relish is also superb in my corn and quinoa salad (recipe posted here), and mixed with cucumbers as a simple side that goes with just about everything. I made 6 pints last year; I plan to double that this year, or even triple, to give some as gifts. ;o)

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added over 2 years ago

In the New York Times magazine last week, there was an article about the company lunches at Good Egg. The article includes a recipe for a tart with cherry tomatoes that looks like it uses about a millions cherry tomatoes (slight exaggeration). http://tmagazine.blogs...