Cherry tomatoes – prolific the first year you plant them in the garden, but then they come back the next year and you didn’t plant them, and the year after and the year after. My husband went to work on my neighbor’s computer and she was telling him that she had too many cherry tomatoes and didn’t know what to do with all of them. She was running out of ideas and I thought maybe we could help her out. How do you use your cherry, grape or small pear tomatoes?
- Pop them in your mouth. When I was a kid, this was my preferred method of eating tomatoes, warm, and gushing tomato juice.
- Salads – I think the basic salad or in a vegetable tray is the way most people use their Cherry, grape or small pear tomato in their green salads. Those small tomatoes are also good in other kinds of salads too – Tuna pasta salad, green been and potato salad, chicken salad, Cobb salad, Deb’s tortellini salad, cucumber and tomato salad – depending on travel time – you can cut them in half or leave them whole. I don’t like tomato juice leaking all through the salads, but if you are serving soon, you can slice them in half. Either way works.
- Stuff them - Slice the lid of the cherry tomato off and scoop out the seeds and middle. You can stuff them with tuna, mozzarella, guacamole, or herbed chevre. They make great hors d’oeuvres.
- Roasted tomatoes in olive oil – Halve the tomatoes and place skin side down on a cookie sheet with olive oil. Line the pan with a silicon sheet or aluminum foil first, then wipe with olive oil. Place down the cherry tomatoes and then a quick drizzle. Roast in the oven until they caramelize. You can store these in a jar in the fridge to use in recipes. Any recipe where you would use sundried tomatoes, this would work.
- Dehydrate – When I’m overloaded with tomatoes, I love to dehydrate them. I slice them in half, and lay flat on the dehydrator tray, then turn it on until they no longer are pliable. I have a fresh saver jar sealer that I use to help store my dehydrated veggies. Place the tomatoes in the jar, place the jar sealer over top with the tube connected to the Fresh saver, hit the button to suck out all of the air. You can also freeze them in containers or zipper bags. In the winter, my son makes a great ground beef & vegetable soup. He likes to sprinkle dried tomatoes into the soup (because it doesn’t require chopping, just tossing in). The chewy tomato pieces are so tasty.
- Recipes – Using cherry tomatoes in recipes works out just fine if you remember certain things. Always slice the tomatoes before you cook them. The skin will hold in the heat and may just cause you to get a mouth burn. Don’t try to blanch and peel – there will be nothing left. I love tomatoes thrown in with pasta just a minute or two before serving, so that they are warm but still have their shape. They make great pizza topping, salsa tomatoes, green tomato relish (before they turn red) and can be used in omelettes.
There are so many ways you can put those yummy little things to good use. What suggestions do you have? They’re so darn colorful and pretty, they make everything look good.
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