About to have a lot of paste tomatoes. Aside from sauce...
I planted 2 types of tomatoes - both heirlooms: an Italian paste type and a standard salad type called "Mule Team."
I figured many of the plants would not make it, so I planted extra. Except...they all grew just fine. I am now faced with an impending harvest of a LOT of plum tomatoes. Aside from paste, what can you do with them? Are they usually too thick to use as a salad tomato?
We do a Upick every year and end up with 60 lbs of tomatoes - it is just too hard to stop! Anyway, we slow roast them, and them put them into bags in the freezer. Yummy roasted tomatoes all winter long.
I have used plum tomatoes in salads and they were very tasty. Additionaly, you can cook them in other ways....slow roasting in the oven for one.
Here's a recipe I got from the Boston Globe this spring; I have adapted the original recipe to our liking:
Baked Chicken with Tomatoes:
1/2 cup chicken broth
4 whole chicken legs (thighs attached to drumsticks)
3 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Cut tomatoes in half from top to bottom, then again, cutting wedges.
Put tomato wedges into bowl. (use as many tomatoes as you wish)
Sprinkle with kosher salt, ground pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano, olive oil, balsamic vineger. Mix all together. Let stand while you prepare the chicken.
1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Have on hand a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Pour the broth into the dish.
2. Wash chicken thoroughly & remove all extra fat.
3. Arrange the legs, skin side up, in the dish, making only one layer (it's OK if they're tightly packed).
4. Mix tomatoes again then tuck the tomatoes into the dish at the sides and wherever there are spaces between the legs. Sprinkle chicken with salt, and pepper and garlic powder. Transfer the dish to the oven.
5. Bake the legs for 50+ minutes or until they are cooked through and the tomatoes have collapsed. Sprinkle with parsley. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
You can roast/semi-dry those paste tomatoes in the oven....makes for a concentrated, jammy flavor.
I plant two large beds of Italian plum tomatoes every year for winter use in cooking, yielding a couple hundred pounds. I can most of them but freeze a lot because they're easy to use that way.
Depending on the amount of freezer space you have, it's really simple. Remove the skins using boiling water. Freeze them individually on sheets and them put them in zipper bags in the freezer. You can take out one or many as you need them, defrosting them in a colander for use in recipes. You can roast them if you choose before freezing but it limits your options on their use. Not every recipe benefits by the taste of roasted tomatoes.
Raw or cold pack canning is very easy and worth learning how to do. You only need simple equipment. Again, just skin the tomatoes, Half or quarter them, pack them into jars. The juice from the tomatoes will fill the jars by itself to within 1/2 inch of the top. Process the jars in a water bath canner for the required amount of time and you can store them at room temperature in your pantry. They will be just like the canned tomatoes you buy in stores minus any chemical or added ingredients. You can make your own fresh sauce any time you want or use them in any recipe calling for fresh tomatoes.
No need to make paste or sauce now. Just freeze or can your bounty now and enjoy the plum tomatoes this winter.
Try a few plums for eating raw. I like them a lot but they have a stronger flavor than many people enjoy for salads.
Congratulations on a great harvest!
I made dried tomatoes from instructions I found on CH last year. They were really good...to the point I had to hide them from my husband if I wanted some to serve as a fancy garnish as I had intended. They came out like chips.
Slice thin and bake LONG and LOW until they dry out.