Last year we had several cherry tomato plants and so many of them ended up being wasted. I made gallons of pico de gallo/salsa (You can see my favorite recipe here) and topped everything we ate with cherry tomatoes for weeks. I added them to sauces and even tried juicing them but, when it was all said and done I just had more than I knew what to do with.
This year we agreed not to plant so many.
I had a few plants that I’d started from seed and I figured only half of them would take root and produce. But, nope. Every one of those little guys held on and grew. And then someone dropped off more. “We didn’t want to waste them and we have too many.” They said.
I couldn’t throw them away. They were just too beautiful. Into the garden they went.
And now I have cherry tomatoes. Mountains and piles and heaps of cherry tomatoes.
I learned that cherry tomatoes, more so than their larger cousins, freeze quite well and can be used for soups and stews all winter.
I filled my freezer and didn’t make a dent.
My sister told me I should try Ina Garten’s Provencal Cherry Tomato Gratin. I did and I loved it. It’s just the right combination of soft and crunchy, sweet and savory. It took 5 minutes to throw together from this simplest possible ingredients (not including cooking time) and it was a huge hit.
But I still had more. A LOT more.
Then I discovered tomato jam.
Apparently I’ve been living under a rock all of these years because I’d never tried nor heard of such a thing before. I stumbled across this recipe and resisted at first. I love grape jam and strawberry jam… but tomato?! Then I read a comment that, “It goes beautifully on turkey burgers but eat it on soft stinky cheese with crackers and it will change your life.”
I LOVE SOFT STINKY CHEESE ON CRACKERS!
So I made some tomato jam. And it’s FABULOUS! And so pretty in those sweet little Mason jars. And it’s actually quite easy to make. No peeling and seeding and such. I just put my tomatoes in my slap-chopper and tossed them in the pot to simmer. And it takes 5 pounds of cherry tomatoes to make 2-5 pints of jam, depending on how big they are, how much sugar they contain and other factors. I got 3 1/2 pints from my first attempt.
I’ve got approximately 47 relatives who are getting tomato jam for Christmas this year and I’m not going to have any guilty, “I left them in the garden to rot” feelings. Everybody wins!
Do you have other recipes you love to make with cherry tomatoes?
Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?
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