Summer is finally over but you’ve found yourself with a glut of tomatoes from the garden? So what do you do with them? Below I’ve got two recipes for you to use to make good use of those tomatoes and to ensure they last throughout the Autumn and Winter months:
Frozen Tomato Sauce Cubes
A little cube of tomato-ness that will keep you going throughout the cold months of the year when there’s no tomatoes in the garden, these Frozen Tomato Sauce Cubes are one of the simplest yet most novel ways to use that excess of tomatoes you seem to have accumulated.
What you need:
A load of tomatoes, a few garlic cloves, a teaspoon or two of dried oregano, a sprinkling of dried chilli, olive oil, salt and pepper.
What to do:
Preheat you over to around 165C. Cut you tomatoes open. If they’re cherry tomatoes then just cut them in half, and if they’re larger tomatoes then cut them up a little more as long as the inside of the tomato is exposed that’s fine.
Put them into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and toss until evenly coated. Then add crush in a few cloves of garlic. Sprinkle over the oregano, dried chilli and a good pinch of salt and black pepper.
Toss again to ensure it is all mixed up then pour onto a baking tray.
Place in the other for an 90 minutes to 2 hours — Keep an eye on them as you want to remove them when they’re blistering.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely then pour into a blender and blitz it up until it is fairly smooth.
Now you have a few options:
a) Freeze in an Ice Tray – You’ll then have a concentrated sauce you can add into pasta sauces to give it an extra kick of flavour.
b) Freeze into Full Portions of Sauce – You could use sandwich bags to do this. Simply portion up enough of your sauce to serve one person. Got three people to feed, get 3 bags out?
Sweet Chilli Sauce
There’s one thing to note about this sauce: It’s HOT! It’s blow your head off stuff. So if you prefer the milder stuff then adjust the amount of chilli. It will get stronger over time so don’t think that a couple of chillies will be mild.
What you need:
1 kg of peeled chopped de-seeded tomatoes, A head of garlic, 6 red chillies, 2tbsp fresh grated ginger, 4tbsp fish sauce (don’t worry, it’s there as a seasoning and not for a fish flavour!), 600g sugar, 200ml red wine vinegar.
What to do:
Put your tomatoes into a blender and blender them up to a fairly smooth puree. Add in the garlic and the ginger and blend it up again to get it back to the puree consistency. Check it with a spoon and blend if you find lumps.
Finely chop up your chillies (include the seeds) and add it to the blender with the fish sauce and blend it up for a final time.
Transfer it to a large, heavy-based pan and bring it to the boil with the sugar and vinegar.
Once it’s boiling, lower the heat and simmer it. Remove an scum and froth from the top of the sauce. Keep it simmering for 30 minutes. Then place 6 jars in the over to warm up for 15 minutes and continue to simmer the sauce.
The sauce should have thickened and reduced. Pour it into the jars, seal them up and label – You don’t want people to think it’s just a plain tomato sauce.
There’s two simple recipes you can use to use up all those tomatoes you may have found yourself with. They’re simple. Will last 6 months. And are delicious!