Too Many tomatoes?

Discussion in 'The Green Patch' started by Ganado, Dec 9, 2016.

  1. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    there are some great recipes in this thread
    28 Things to Do With Too Many Tomatoes

    It’s tomato season! And, I don’t know about you, but my garden’s been working overtime this season. Talk about too much of a good thing!

    Yes, come late-August, many gardeners end up with a dozen or two heirloom tomatoes ripening on their kitchen counter, with dozens more cherry, San Marzano, Brandywine, Yellow Pear, and countless other tomato varieties ripening on the vine.

    You hate to waste these beauties, but you can’t help wondering…

    “What the heck am I gonna do with all these tomatoes?”
    Too many tomatoes. Not a bad problem to have, actually. But it can be daunting to find ideas on how to use them all.

    Here are 28 ways to use all those extra tomatoes from your garden
    While they’re at their peak freshness, no less!

    1. Eat them whole
    Really! Vine ripened tomatoes are delicious all on their own. You can take a big bite out of one like an apple, or do what my mom always does: slice the tomato into thick slices and sprinkle with salt. Yum!

    [​IMG]2. Fresh salsa
    I love Mexican food. When it’s served with fresh salsa I really can’t resist. There’s something about the fresh ingredients in uncooked salsa that makes it such a treat for the summer. Here are a few recipes to try:
    Fermented Salsa
    Peach and Tomato Salsa
    Fresh Summer Salsa with Cucumber
    3. Cooked salsa

    Though fresh salsa is my favorite, it’s only available in the summer, and I like salsa all year round. Canning your own salsa is a great way to have quality salsa through the winter. Check out these recipes:
    Canning Homemade Salsa
    Home Canned Salsa
    4. Too many tomatoes? Use them as a skin cleanser
    Did you know you could clean your face with a tomato? YES, it’s true! (Check out this line of tomato facial products :)) The acids in tomato juice are great for softening and cleaning skin, while the lycopene helps eliminate free radicals.

    For oily skin: mix equal parts fresh tomato juice and aloe vera juice.
    For dry skin: use a ratio of 1 part tomato juice to 2 parts aloe vera juice.
    Rub a tablespoon of this mixture into your face and rinse with warm water.

    5. Sunburn relief
    Tomatoes are also wonderful at soothing sunburn. If your sunburn is recent and not blistering or peeling, rubbing a slice of tomato on it can lessen the redness. According to this study, eating tomatoes can increase your skin’s natural sun protection. One more reason to eat those beauties!

    6. No-cook pasta sauce
    The last thing I want to do when it’s hot outside is cook something steamy in the kitchen. That’s why a no-cook pasta sauce is such a great way to use up too many tomatoes.
    • Simply dice up some fresh tomatoes
    • Add fresh herbs like parsley, basil and oregano
    • Add olive oil, lemon juice and salt
    Et voilà! A quick sauce that can be put on hot or cold pasta.
    7. Tomato sandwiches

    I could care less about including yucky winter tomatoes on my sandwiches, but when I’ve got too many tomatoes ripening in the summer, I can’t get enough. Add tomatoes to any sandwich for a burst of flavor, or simply slather some mayo and tomato slices between two pieces of fresh baked bread. Yum!

    Try this Heirloom Tomato Sandwich for a yummy treat (hint: it uses avocado!).

    8. Tomato soup

    And what goes great with sandwiches? Soup of course! Homemade tomato soup is full of lycopene, which has been shown to fight chronic diseases and increase the body’s natural sun protection.
    Homemade Tomato Soup is simple, healthy and easy to freeze or can.

    9. BLT’s
    This is one of my favorite ways to use up too many tomatoes. I like making a classic BLT, but there are some really interesting ways of dressing up a BLT that are worth a try.
    Consider adding:
    • Avocado
    • Cheese
    • A fried egg
    • Fresh greens
    • Onion
    Or just turn your BLT into a BLT grilled cheese (and dip it in your homemade tomato soup!).

    10. Tomato juice
    If you have too many tomatoes, making tomato juice is a great way to use them up. You can use tomato juice in soups, to add flavor to meat, to deodorize a stinky refrigerator, or to make a kick butt Bloody Mary.
    How to Make Tomato Juice

    11. Tomato paste

    Tomato paste is one of the best sources of lycopene around. It can be used in many dishes and freezes really well, making it an MVP of tomato products.

    Pro tip: freeze some tomato paste in ice cube trays or can it in extra-small canning jars.
    How to Make Tomato Paste

    12. Grilled bruschetta
    Bruschetta is a really easy and tasty way to use too many tomatoes. Plus, when you’re grilling them, you don’t have to heat up the kitchen.

    Cut a crusty baguette into slices and toast them on the grill. Then brush with garlic butter or oil. Top with slices of tomato and fresh mozzarella or get adventurous and experiment with additional toppings such as mushrooms, fresh chopped herbs, gorgonzola, zucchini, or prosciutto.

    13. Fried green tomatoes
    Sometimes tomatoes fall off the vine, or a frost is expected before they ripen. What would you do with too many tomatoes when they’re unripened besides fry them?

    How to fry green tomatoes:
    • Start with slices of green tomato and dip them in an egg bath.
    • Coat with batter of choice. Being dairy and gluten free, I use a mixture of cornmeal and another gluten free flour.
    • You could also add buttermilk to the egg mixture for an added level of taste.
    • Fry the tomatoes in your choice of oil (at roughly 375 degrees) until golden and crispy.
    • Enjoy!
    14. Tomato ketchup

    Ketchup is an American summer staple, but the store bought kind often includes yucky ingredients like high fructose corn syrup. Making your own ketchup is a great way to use those extra tomatoes while keeping your family’s food as clean as possible. Since homemade ketchup uses a lot of them, you’ll never have too many tomatoes again!
    Homemade Ketchup Recipes

    15. Homemade pasta sauce

    Spaghetti is a great fall back meal when things get busy. It only takes a few minutes to prepare if you already have canned or jarred sauce on hand.

    Set aside an afternoon to prepare and can some pasta sauce, and you’ll have quick and nutritious meals available through the winter.
    Crock-pot Marinara
    Home Canned Spaghetti Sauce

    16. Homemade pizza sauce

    Another quick meal, homemade pizza is a crowd pleaser and pretty simple when you have sauce already on hand. If you make a big batch you can freeze or can enough to last through the winter.
    Homemade Pizza Sauce (for the freezer)

    17. Grill ‘em
    Grilled tomatoes are a fun and easy snack for when you have too many tomatoes.
    • Start with firm tomatoes and slice them in half horizontally
    • Brush with olive oil.
    • Grill until grill marks form.
    • Flip and repeat.
    • Top with salt.
    • Enjoy!
    18. Marinate ’em
    Marinated tomatoes are wonderful and really easy to make. Simply add halved cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and garlic to a jar of olive oil and vinegar and let them sit for several hours or overnight.

    19. Freeze ’em
    Of course you can freeze cooked tomatoes, but have you ever considered freezing raw tomatoes? You can! It’s a great way to preserve them when you have too many tomatoes. If you are planning on using them for a sauce or stew later, freezing whole raw tomatoes is a fine way to preserve them without putting the work in up front to cook them.

    20. Can ’em
    Whole, halved, or diced, canning is a great way to preserve tomatoes that doesn’t require electricity to keep (like freezing does). Check out these recipes for canning tomatoes:
    Canning Tomatoes

    21. Stuffed tomatoes
    Another great way to use too many tomatoes but be sure to use sturdy ones.
    • Slice them in half horizontally and scoop out the inside.
    • Fill with your choice of filling (breadcrumbs, cheese, spinach, mushrooms, rice and quinoa are some possibilities)
    • Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
    22. Tri-colored tomato salad
    One of my favorite things about growing produce in the backyard is the variety of tastes and colors. When you have a lot of different colored tomatoes, why not make a tri-colored tomato salad? Chop tomatoes to bite sized pieces and toss with fresh basil, mozzarella, olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

    23. Sun dried tomatoes
    I’m always amazed at how expensive sun dried tomatoes are at the grocery store, especially when I know I can make them at home for almost nothing. Sun dried tomatoes are great in pasta dishes, hummus, pesto, or omelets. When you dry them there’s no such thing as too many tomatoes! Try this recipe for making sundried tomatoes at home:
    Easiest Sun Dried tomatoes

    24. Tomato and fruit
    Since technically tomatoes are a fruit, why not add them to your fruit salad? Here are a few fun recipes that use fruit and tomatoes:
    Fruit Salad with Tomato
    Tomato Fruit Gazpacho (0ne of my favorite soups)
    Tomato and Fruit Soup

    25. Shakshukah

    Shakshukah AKA Mediterranean Sunshine

    26. Tomato basil garlic butter
    What’s great about making flavored butter is that you can easily freeze it for another time. Tomato Basil Garlic Butter

    27. Barter or sell them
    If you have more tomatoes than you can eat, can, freeze, or dry, why not sell them at a farmer’s market or barter with a friend for something different?

    28. Give them away
    When all else fails and you still have way too many tomatoes, give them away. It shouldn’t be too difficult to find someone willing to take extra tomatoes off your hands, and it will be a relief to know they aren’t going to waste. You may even be able to donate fresh tomatoes to a local food pantry.
    tacmotusn, stg58, Gator 45/70 and 6 others like this.
  2. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    Awesome Thread Ganado, I always have too many Tomatoes, this should thin the herd some. Great ideas that look pretty easy ( mostly) and We are sure to use several of these.
    chelloveck and Ganado like this.
  3. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    ketsup and salsa are my mainstays but I get tired of that as well lol.... i try not to complain about abundance but I got carries away with tomatoes and peppers this year. i only planted one zuc and so wasnt so overwhemed.... i did start thinking about bad weather so next year I won't limit zucs.

    Gardening is funny, i have this belief that I can control what happens in the garden.... its so not true!!!! some years are great and others not so great.
    chelloveck and Ura-Ki like this.
  4. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    LOL, I'm the worlds best Gardner, I don't do any thing, and it all grows! Funny, I ended up with way to many Tomato's and Zucs, as well as about 300 pounds of Mint and spearmint! I didn't do much of any thing, but it just worked out that way. Last year, I couldn't get half of any thing to sprout, and I worked my tail off over that! Pumpkins and Zukes are my weakness, but a good crop of berries takes a close second! Still cannot get apples or pears to grow, even with "yearlings" nore can I get much from Plums and Cherries! Go figure!
    chelloveck and Ganado like this.
  5. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    #29 - Tomato jelly! Believe me, it tastes much better than the title ;)
    Ura-Ki, chelloveck and Ganado like this.
  6. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    sounds like you just had good varieties of tomatoes and zuchs for your area.... I let alot of things drop seeds then if if grows I know its a good variety. I tried to control zuchs this year and was pretty successful but it occured to me in a year without summer I might regret limiting them

    @techsar do you have a good tomato jelly recipe?
    Ura-Ki and chelloveck like this.
  7. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Ura-Ki, chelloveck and Ganado like this.
  8. marlas1too

    marlas1too Monkey+++

    how about giving the overflow of tomatoes to a shelter or a needy family
    Ura-Ki and chelloveck like this.
  9. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    @marlas1too I would really appreciate it if you would actually read the posts.... what you posted is on the list
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    That's consistent. Remember when pizza was known as tomato pie?
  11. marlas1too

    marlas1too Monkey+++

    ganado -thought I did I'll just read from now on so sorry
    Ganado likes this.
  12. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    OK, I tried a new tomato this year, it may not be new to you all but after many years of sprouting indoors and using the same old seeds.... you know, Early Girl, Big Boy, Better Boy, Roma, Beefsteak this, and Beefsteak that... I went out on a limb. The Girls and Boys produce well, Romas are OK, I hate Cherry tomatoes, we just don't eat them, and the Beefsteaks produce only a few big nice tomatoes per vine, I found a keeper.

    Yes from or Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, which I really hadn't used much before... was... drum roll please!

    The Mortgage Lifter, I started way too many of them, and they take a long time to produce, but vines everywhere, and tomatoes from mid-size to Beefsteak size, and lots of them, start them indoors, or in your greenhouse the first few days in January and you should have lots by July.

    Thanks @gando I froze (for canning later), dehydrated, and tomato soup'd many toes this year.

    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
    Ura-Ki likes this.
  13. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Well, our tomatoes didn't do well this year, season was too short and we are still learning as only recently got in the area here. But, we'll be putting down a greenhouse this Spring to ensure our tomatoes do better in the future.
    Ganado and Ura-Ki like this.
  14. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    @azrancher, you have convinced me I ordered some mortgage lifter tomatoes =)

  15. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    I'm glad you got the name right, you could have told me I typed it wrong, it's a lifter, not a keeper, I fixed it.

    Ganado likes this.
  16. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    I have not tested this personally, I think its an interesting idea

    Burundi: Farmer finds new technique for preserving tomatoes

    Then one day, he noticed that the tomatoes he had kept next to his banana trees were not rotten. Then he noticed the ash at the foot of the banana trees.

    He decided to try keeping his tomatoes in ash and found that this was more effective than any of the other techniques he had tried.

    He uses ash from a chimney, and sifts it three or four times to remove large residues, debris, and other foreign materials. Then, he dumps the ash into a paper carton and places the tomatoes in the carton. With this technique, Mr. Nduwimana manages to safely store his tomatoes for many months.

    He explains: “I keep my tomatoes in the ash for a period of five to six months, so I can sell them in December, January, or February when the price has risen—since tomatoes are rare and become expensive during this period.“
  17. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

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