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What to do with your tomato crop

If like me your tomato plants are producing more than you can eat here are some ideas on what to do with them. If you have some really tasty varieties and a very big crop find your local food suppliers on the BigBarn map and ask them if they would like to take your crop on sale and return. You will then be Cropping for the shop and we can add a Community Champion rosette to that shop’s icon on BigBarn. So please email us.

If you have the variety ‘Money Maker’ now 7 feet tall and heavy with ripening fruit, but with mediocre flavour, you might be better to cook them. Especially as tomatoes are members of the nightshade family and cooked tomatoes are more healthy, so here are some ideas/recipes;

Fried on toast
A great breakfast is fresh chopped fried tomatoes. Simply heat some butter in a frying pan and add the chopped tomatoes. Also add some herbs such as rosemary, chives and oregano and allow to gently fry and reduce. Once you have a heavy sauce like substance, tip on some toast and enjoy. To make a more substantial meal and stop the toast from going soggy place some thinly sliced cheese on the toast before the tomato.

Note this tomato sauce could also be used as a pasta sauce. Lots cheaper than those sauces in jars.

Pasta sauce
Like the above if you have a really big pile of tomatoes get a large saucepan add some oil, finely chopped onions and garlic and allow to soften. Then add your chopped tomatoes and herbs and allow to reduce until you get a nice thick sauce. I then allow to cool and freeze in old chinese takeaway containers.

Note if you also have an abundant marrow, courgette or chilli crop you can chop and add some to this sauce at the same time as the tomato.

You can cut your tomatoes in half, sprinkle some dried herbs on top and put them out in the sun under a fly screen, or in a very low heat fan oven. Great to add to a sandwich or recipe in the winter.

It is amazing how different and delicious home made tomato soup can be compared to the factory produced tinned product. Tinned soups, like many other ready meals, contain the scientifically researched exact quantity of sugar and salt to trigger dopamine when we eat them. Our brain says, yum, until we read the small print on the label.

Please comment on this, more recipes, ideas.

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