Green Fingers 3: Tomatoes’ Revenge

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I’ve managed to produce more tomatoes than I know what to do with. They’re going in sandwiches and we’re having salads with every meal but I can’t eat them quick enough. So here are a few things to do with a glut.

A really simple pasta dish for two is to take two handfuls of cherry tomatoes and heat in some oil until the skins start to burst. Throw in a few slices of salami or a drained tin of mackerel and stir through some hot spaghetti.

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For a more time consuming tomato sauce, very gently fry a small onion until softened (about ten minutes), then add two sliced cloves of garlic and slowly heat for another couple of minutes. While the onion is cooking, skin your tomatoes. About 800g of tomatoes will make enough for four people. Cover the tomatoes in boiling water for a minute to split the skin and then it’ll just peel off.

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This is a massive faff but its nice not to have skins in your sauce and it does get rid of any bus fumes from the no. 4 which may have settled on the tomatoes. Then cook for 30-40 minutes over a low heat until the tomatoes break down.

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Blend to make a thick orangey sauce. This is a handy sauce to have in the freezer, stir through a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and some basil for pasta or add to some sizzled ginger and curry paste to make a quick curry sauce.

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Finally I pickled some. These are a Japanese recipe from “Everyday Harumi”. If you like pickledy things you’ll like these, if you don’t you’ll pull a face and go bleurgh. Wash roughly 300g of tomatoes (enough to fit in a jar) and poke each tomato a few times with skewer, an oddly satisfying process, to let the pickling liquid in.

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Mix together 150ml of rice vinegar, 25g of sugar and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt until the sugar and salt has dissolved. Squash the holey tomatoes in a jar that has been scrupulously cleaned in very hot water and then pour over the vinegar mixture. Leave for a day or two in the fridge and then they’ll keep for about a week. They go lovely with a strong cheese or dipped into hummous.

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