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Tomato Theme Week in the Eat Local Challenge

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Ten of us posting together on a weekly Eat Local Challenge SSFC decided we wanted theme weeks once a month. Today we are reporting on how we are doing with tomatoes.

I earlier wrote a post on making pineapple tomato salsa and roasted garden peach tomatoes using my CSA tomatoes and my garden heirlooms.

Also this week the following tomato related cooking was happening in my kitchen, making a large mess and keeping the dishwasher active. I had all my little tomatoes that didn’t win anything at the fair I brought home yesterday. I roasted them with salt, pepper, olive oil, sugar, onions and peppers. They ended up here. Crock pot in February sounds like a good place to use them.

Oven roasted tomatoes ready for the freezer

The pineapple tomatoes that didn’t end up in salsa were slow roasted the other day with sweet onions and put deep in the freezer to become a lovely sauce for pasta in the dead of winter.

Oven roasted pineapple tomatoes and onions

As for the six pounds of roma and red tomatoes the CSA gave me Thursday, they were blanched, seeded and packed away with herbs and garlic, again to be used this winter. The cherry tomatoes just kept getting eaten on salads at lunch, or dipped in salt right out of the container sitting on the counter. They were wonderful treats. Nothing like ripe cherry tomatoes to make me happy in August.

CSA tomatoes

For those not in a CSA, or without room to grow tomatoes, there is always Larriland Farms to pick your own. Tomatoes are in the fields right now, and for an extra bonus, in the herb gardens the basil is ready. The weather this year has made basil plants really happy, and tomato with basil is such a great pairing. Head out to Larriland if you want to freeze up some summer to enjoy when it is cold outside.

If you want to see how some of the SSFC participants used tomatoes this week, check out The Soffrito, another local hoco resident who is in this challenge with me.

And our ringleader, Emily, in Texas put her post up showing how she used tomatoes from last year since the heat in Texas has already dried up this year’s crop. Hope global warming doesn’t take away our long tomato season here. I love having tomatoes from July through October. Indeterminate varieties have always done well here, but this year the heat is affecting many of my plants by stressing them to the point they stop producing.

Anyone else having a cooking feast using up tomatoes from the garden or their CSA?


About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

5 responses »

  1. Oh, you have wonderful tomatoes. It will be such fun to be eating them in the dead of winter. It always puts a smile on my face. Roasted tomatoes have such wonderful flavor. Yours look divine!

  2. I think I can take anyone on in a tomato challenge! My latest is throwing a big red raw one into the blender with 1/4 cup cashews, a clove of garlic and seasalt. Voila! A lovely filling soup.

  3. Love those tomatoes! I won’t have a tomato post–just started getting a few ripe in the garden, but I’m hoping to can up some at least and maybe oven dry a few for the winter.

  4. How do you roast the bigger tomatoes? I tried roasting some cherry tomatoes last summer to freeze but it really didn’t work out. They were tasteless, and some spots got burned. More oil? Seasonings? Stir or turn during roasting? Then do you freeze?

    • I use the slow cook function on my oven. They don’t burn. I sliced the big ones first, sprinkled them with sugar, salt, pepper and olive oil. Baked for over an hour. They concentrate the flavors. Much of the water evaporates.

      I use them mostly in the crock pot, in stews and soups.

      As for little tomatoes, I really leave them in a long time on 170°. They shrivel up and become oven dried. Pack them in oil before freezing.


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