In between having a lovely (although short), overnight Easter camping get together, I have been converting tomatoes into pickles and soup and making stock from scraps from the soup and what I had saved in the freezer. I was delighted last week to find when I got home, a large box of Periform Abruzzo tomatoes sitting on my verandah. Two years ago, I gave George from Tarra Valley Foods some of this variety and he saved some seed and has had wonderful success saying the yield has been great. How lovely of him to pass on some of his harvest back to me. If ever you are heading east on the Princes Highway and go through Rosedale, call in and sample (and buy) some of George and Jenny’s beautiful preserves. They also enjoy a chat and would make you feel most welcome.
So these tomatoes were converted into:
This Tomato Pickles Recipe was given to me a couple of years ago and it has turned into a family favourite. I rarely make tomato sauce anymore as this pickle can be used in so many ways we prefer it and you can knock some up pretty easily. Tomatoes and onions chopped and brined overnight (this is a double batch). Hopefully this will be the last season I’ll need to resort to this method for cooking. Actually I can guarantee it will be the last, coz if I don’t have the new kitchen next year I won’t be making anything! Brown vinegar, sugar and spices cooked with tomatoes and onions. When cooked for about 40 mins I added a couple of tablespoons of cornflour (real, not wheat) to maintain its gluten free title.
The pickle is then bottled. I did cut back the sugar content by about a third and we find it still quite sweet but not too much so.
I read on Francesca’s blog a couple of weeks ago about her ‘Moulin Rouge retro Tomato Soup’ and it really appealed to me so on went a batch of that. Francesca used a Mouli to press (puree) the cooked ingredients but I used my tomato passata processor and it worked well. Happy, mine isn’t as pretty as Francesca’s but it tastes lovely and we now have quite a decent stash of ready to go meals in the freezer.
Here are the veggies cooking and the last of my home-made stock going in to the pot.
I ran all the cooked goodies through the tomato mill a couple of times to get the maximum flavour possible extracted.Then into freezer containers (reclaimed take away meal boxes) for a rainy day. When I cook/reheat this I will add some fresh basil and white pepper before serving.
As I said, not as pretty but I was very happy with the taste. We added a dollop of greek yogurt and it was a nice balance.
With the end bits of what went into the soup, a few of the onion skins and tops and tails from the pickles plus having used up the last of my stock in the soup, it was time to make up some more stock. This is so satisfying and I haven’t bought stock for years now. It is so easy. As you prepare dishes any trimmings or bones etc just get tossed into a bag or container in the freezer and you add to it every time you have some. when the bag is full, pop the whole lot into the slow cooker (not the bag!) with some peppercorns (I don’t add salt) and let it simmer away overnight.
I notice this bag also had a chicken carcass in it from a roast chicken.
I now have about 5 litres of beautiful stock that I know what is in. The chook has had a great feed of pickings and the remainder of the cooked matter will go into the compost. Win, win all round!
Years ago my friend bought a dryer and I have used it most seasons since to dry something or another. I usually do tomatoes then store them in Spanish olive oil with garlic and chilli and we eat them as a snack. This year though I am making tomato powder. I did this years ago and it was quite good. You dry the tomatoes really well then blitz in a processor and store the powder in a good air tight container and use it for seasoning as needed.
The tomatoes after 6 hours in the dryer.
I love doing this with bananas. Buy them when cheap, slice and dip in lemon juice, dry and munch, munch, munch!
Last but not least-Seed saving
I put all of the dodgy bits of tomatoes and rough tops and bottoms into a bowl. There were loads of seed in some of them so I filled the bowl with water and will let them ferment for a few days then I will separate the seed from the pulp and dry and store the seed. Once the seed is removed the rest will go into the compost and the whole cycle begins again.
Next week or so will be passata time! Now that’s a fun thing to do in a limited kitchen. What are some of your best tomato saving tips?
15 Replies to “Converting Tomatoes.”
All fabulous ideas! I owned that red tomato mill but got rid of it. It just never worked for me!!!
Thanks Chef Mimi!. I’ve had great use of the passata mill, looking forward to trying the attachment of my new Ankarsrum mixer this season. Might speed things along a little. Cheers, Maree.
Maybe I wasn’t using it right!!! But it seems the suction never worked…
That would be sooooo frustrating! I’d ditch it too 🙂
I really enjoyed reading this post. We often make passata on the weekend and freeze for dinners during the working week. I’m yet to come across the Periform Abruzzo variety but they look lovely!
Hi Krys, thanks for visiting. Love passata, happy to send you some seed or P/A if interested. 🙂
Lucky you having that richness of tomatoes! I’m pinned the pickle for the summer. It sounds delicious.
Hi Liz, we love that pickle but remember I cut back the sugar by about a third.
Yum! Lots of delicious tomato ideas here. The chickens decimated my harvest this year but I shall see what seeds I can scavenge and save as all of these are so appealing. The pickles are my favourite.
Hi Lisa, sing out if you would like some tomato seed. I have an overload and would love to share! The pickles are great 🙂
Oooh I’d love some tomato seeds if you have excess! Such a generous offer! Next year maybe I’ll be posting about pickles too 🙂
Hi Lisa, flick me an email with your address and I’ll send you some. email@example.com
Hi Maree, I made tomato leather last week. It will add a tomato hit to my winter stews.
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What wonderful tomato dishes. I love tomato soup but haven’t had any in years.
Have a happy day.
🙂 Mandy xo
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