This year I decided to invest in a variety of tomato plants – delightful cherries, trusty romas – including mini ones, the common supermarket make to a variety of heirlooms. Over the years as my gardening experience has improved so too has our crop. A good thing about tomatoes is that they don’t require much love to prosper. This year we have been completely organic - no tomato dusty, fertiliser etc... just rain, good compost, lucerne and sunshine.
Unlike previous years I managed to get all of our plants in before Melbourne Cup (according to a colleague who is Canberra born and bred this is the key date, if you leave them much past this date you will miss a full season) and with our unseasonably wet summer we have had a bumper crop.
I don’t like to waste anything that we grow so over the past 3 weeks we have been eating tomatoes with every meal (along with zucchini, eggplants and celery).
The top 3 dishes in our house have been:
- Semi dried cherry tomatoes with roasted garlic preserved in olive oil - perfect in pasta, in chicken and I am hoping they will keep well for winter when all you get in the shops in tasteless tomatoes.
- Tomato and ginger jam (Gourmet Traveller - Feb 2012) – yummo with cheddar cheese, bacon and eggs - I found though, that I needed to cook it for twice as long as what the recipe suggested
- Open cheese tart with heirloom tomatoes – perfect lunch or light dinner - used Donna Hay's Cherry Tomato and Basil Tart as the basis and then modified based on the cheeses, herbs and tomatoes that I had at home (every version so far has been different and they are all so tasty)
tomatoes, salt, pepper, olive oil, rosemary, knob of garlic
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in half – best to cut them across the tomato rather than top to bottom as it will make it easier to remove the seeds
- With a teaspoon remove half of the seeds
- Liberally sprinkle with salt
- Stand them upside down on a cooling rack to drain (I left them for about 10 minutes)
- Rinse of the salt with water – I used a colander to speed up the process and a slow running tap
- Pat them dry with kitchen towel
- Lay them on a baking tray covered with glad bake – cut side up
- Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary
- Put a whole knob of garlic on the tray (still in its skin)
- Bake at 100 degrees for 5 hours
- Peel the garlic
- Transfer the tomatoes and garlic to sterilised jars and fill with olive oil
Have a great weekend everyone,