HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

TOO MANY CHERRY TOMATOES!

Hi all. I don't know what I was thinking, but I put in 4 cherry tomato plants (1 Sun Gold; 1 Sweet 100s; 1 Yellow Pear; and I can't recall the other) and they did what they were supposed to. Combined with the other full sized tomatoes, they have taken over my veggie patch.

Any idea what to do with barrels of cherry tomatoes??? They're yummy and everything, but after awhile, and with only 2 of us here, I'm inclined to cheer them on while I hide elsewhere. That's wasteful, however.

My big tomatoes (Beefsteak; Mortgage Lifter; Early Girl and one other [can't recall that one, either]) will be canned for winter and some made into marinara sauce. But what to do with all those cherries????

Any help (using LOTS of them) would be appreciated.

Thanx, PAT

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Oven dry? They'd shrink to a very small size I imagine and can then be jarred in oil or frozen, a lovey addition to pastas, salads etc.

    10 Replies
    1. re: julesrules

      +1 for this
      I tossed them with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 350 for a long time until are roasty and deflate. Once cooled i poured it all including juices into ziplock sandwich bags- added to stews, soups, sauces etc later on.

        1. re: Ttrockwood

          I second the slow roasting idea. Wonderful by themselves, on pizza, tossed with pasta, etc

          1. re: Ttrockwood

            I do the same thing, but I only need to roast them for 30 minutes or so. Once they're roasted, the flavor is amazing, and you can throw them into pasta, soups, etc. I freeze them in ziplocs.

            1. re: Ttrockwood

              To all of you, thanx so much. The latest in my kitchen: I picked a bunch of Sun Golds (and a few Sweet 100s), stemmed, washed and made a pasta sauce out of them: all in a pot, added 3 cloves chopped garlic, 1 big branch of fresh thyme, S&P. Cooked everything till tomatoes popped, then mashed pretty much all of them against the side of the pan. Beautiful (yellow) sauce, lots of skins. Tasted pretty good on the end of a spoon. Somehow, it just didn't taste right on pasta!! Too sweet.

              I've known people who put sugar on their tomatoes (while I looked on in amazement). I think I'm a savory-type person. Though I love cherry Ts in salads or just munched as I walk by the bowl, to me they're just not right on pasta.

              Is it me, or . . .

              Pat

              1. re: caiatransplant

                To cut the sweetness, you could add a splash of dry white or red wine. Or smash a few anchovy filets in the oil and let them melt before you add the tomatoes. They'll add a nice salt/umami punch.

                1. re: linguafood

                  Yes....even a quick-saute of cherry tomatoes will intensify their sweetness...though not as much as roasting or simmering.

                  Linguafood's suggestion is great...anchovies add a beautiful whiff of savory. You could even add (be careful) a tiny bit of red wine vinegar...start with a teaspoon. Also, think about a few red pepper flakes to add a little depth?

                2. re: caiatransplant

                  Add some Aleppo pepper or a pinch of red pepper flakes to help cut the sweetness.

            2. There's a recipe for curried ketchup that I found on an old thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/429956. It freezes well so I generally make a large batch each time I make it. The flavor is like a chili sauce so friends liked it for cold shrimp.

              1. I used to can, but I experimented with freezing tomatoes last year and it works very well. I just rinse them, pat dry, cut off stems. Then I put them in about 2 cup quantities (my preference for cooking ease) in freezer bags, squeeze out as much air as possible, label and freeze. Cherry tomatoes can be frozen whole; larger tomatoes I split in half. The tomatoes will lose their shape somewhat if you defrost completely, but if you use them in sauces or other foods where they will break apart a bit anyway, this easy preservation method works a treat. I experimented with adding a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice to the tomatoes before freezing to help preserve color, but I really didn't see or taste much of a difference between those with added lemon juice or without. Of course, you can also make a sauce first and freeze that, too! I love using the Sun Gold for pasta sauce -- so delicious.

                8 Replies
                1. re: team_cake

                  I have 10 quarts of cherry tomatoes in the freezer now! Plus, I made the CI Puttanesca Tomato Sauce, which uses cherry or grape tomatoes, and have a few quarts of it frozen, too.

                  I had just 3 cherry tomato plants, and started to silently beg them to slow down production. I also have oodles of Beefsteak tomatoes frozen and sauced.

                  Will plant less next year!

                  1. re: pine time

                    > Will plant less next year!

                    I have said that every year for the last four, and it doesn't seem to be sticking :-)

                    1. re: travelmad478

                      Yeah, I've said it for nearly 20 years now!

                      1. re: travelmad478

                        I let all but one die out....or so I thought. I now have a VERY productive rogue one that started in another part of the yard....and it's still growing!

                        1. re: Michelly

                          Michelly, I see you live in Los Angeles as well. You may well find you have volunteer tomato plants springing up year round. If we have a mild, not too wet winter, you could well find you are still picking tomatoes in December. I've been able to grow them year round, without protection, in most years.

                          1. re: ePressureCooker

                            I'm south of L.A., and we find volunteer tomato plants all the time. Some, I think, are seeds from bird droppings.

                            I still have 1 tomato in the ground, still producing flowers like mad. I expect we'll get a few more tomatoes before frost (we get very light frost) gets it.

                            1. re: pine time

                              Oh absolutely, probably from the birds. Many seeds have a protective coating to keep birds from digesting the seed. (Nature is clever, isn't it?)

                              If you mulch that tomato plant or cover it with a clear plastic sheet (the gardening kind, with holes in it to allow air to pass through) before the first frost, you can probably preserve that tomato plant through the winter, and if the temperature is high enough, it'll even set fruit. ;D

                    2. re: team_cake

                      Yep, that's what I've been doing since the other members of my household have gone on cherry tomato strike. I just washed, dried and put in freezer bags, and I'm sure they will be a welcome addition to soups and sauces this winter. Oven roasting etc. sounds yummy but simplicity rules at my house!

                    3. I would roast them with some garlic and olive oil till nice and soft and starting to dehydrate. Then I run them through the food processor, and freeze. Makes a great quick pizza sauce.

                      1. I know this won't use up many but i like to throw a pint into a bit of garlic and butter and saute til they pop and become jammy. Mix in the kernels of two ears of corn off the cob and salt and pepper and parsley and warm the corn for a few minutes.. works with zucchini or yellow squash, too.