It is raining tomatoes in my corner of the world. With 35 tomato plants in my backyard, we are eating tomatoes for every meal and I’m not joking. At first my summer staple, a simple Caprese salad, was enough to cover our tomato consumption. However , the end of summer harvest has left us with the red sea in our backyard and I can’t let such beautiful produce rot on the vine! I’ve gotten pretty creative with how to handle our endless batches of tomatoes. I’ve even caught the the canning fever. You might find me stirring a boiling pot of preserves at 2 am in what my husband has dubbed my own little sweat shop. Here are a few of my favorite recipes from tomato land.
Tomatoes for Breakfast
You may wrinkle your nose and have your doubts but, just wait. Tomato jam with cream cheese on toast is a fabulous way to start your day. Recipe compliments of Food in Jars, my new favorite canning blog!
Tomato Jam Recipe
2010 yield: 4 1/2 pints
2011 yield: 3 pints
2012 yield: 2 1/2 pints
The finished yield on this recipe varies depending on the kind of tomato you use, the width of your pan and the finished thickness to which you cook it.
5 pounds tomatoes, finely chopped
3 1/2 cups sugar
8 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon red chili flakes
Combine all ingredients in a large, non-reactive pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce temperature to a simmer. Stirring regularly, simmer* the jam until it reduces to a sticky, jammy mess. This will take between 1 and 1 1/2 hours, depending on how high you keep your heat.
When the jam has cooked down sufficiently, remove from heat and fill jars, leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and twist on rings. Process in a boiling water canner for 20 minutes.
When time is up, remove jars from water bath and allow them to cool. When jars are cool enough to handle, test seals. Store jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
*In my kitchen, the word simmer means to cook just below a boil. There should still be a few bubbles, but it shouldn’t be splashing all over your cooktop. If you cook at lower temperatures, the cooking time will increase.
Tomatoes for Lunch
If you find yourself day dreaming of sun soaked Italy at lunch time, this may curb the urge to buy a one way ticket to the Amalfi coast. A quick and easy recipe for Caprese thanks to The Pioneer Woman.
Caprese Salad Recipe
2 cups Balsamic Vinegar
3 whole Ripe Tomatoes, Sliced Thick
12 ounces, weight Mozzarella Cheese, Sliced Thick
Fresh Basil Leaves
Olive Oil, For Drizzling
Kosher Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
In a small saucepan, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium-low heat. Cook for 10 to 20 minutes, or until balsamic has reduced to a thicker glaze. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl or cruet. Allow to cool.
When you’re ready to serve, arrange tomato and mozzarella slices on a platter. Arrange basil leaves between the slices. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the salad, getting a little bit on each slice. Do the same with the balsamic reduction, making designs if you want. Store extra balsamic reduction in fridge for a later use.
End with a sprinkling of kosher salt and black pepper. Serve as a lunch, with crusty bread. Or serve alongside a beef main course for dinner.
Tomatoes for Dinner
Fall is here and all I want to do is eat soup. A simple grill cheese and homemade tomato soup are the perfect way to welcome in the cooler temps and changing colors. I’m loving the tomato soup recipe I found on My Life In Food.
Slow Roasted Tomato Soup
adapted from My Father’s Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow
Slow Roasted Tomatoes
12 tomatoes (plum, beefsteak or heirloom), quartered, stems removed
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
Heat oven to 250 degrees. Line a 18×13 jelly roll pan with aluminum foil. Place tomatoes skin side down and drizzle with olive oil until all tomatoes are covered. Drop unpeeled garlic cloves randomly around the sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle everything generously with salt. Roast for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until tomatoes are shriveled, but still juicy. When done, allow the pan to cool and pop the roasted garlic out from the skin and reserve for the soup.
Slow Roasted Tomato Soup
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or more as desired)
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 fresh, large basil leaves
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, with juices
1 recipe slow roasted tomatoes, with the garlic roasted with them, removed from the skins
Kosher salt (I used 2 teaspoons)
Freshly ground pepper (I used 1/4 teaspoon)
I added a few handfuls of baby spinach as well
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for two minutes, stirring so that it doesn’t burn. Add the basil leaves, roasted garlic reserved from the roasted tomatoes, tomatoes and juice, and 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring the soup to a boil for 1 minute, then reduce the heat to low and simmer it uncovered for 40 minutes. As it simmers gently break apart the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. After cooking stir in the slow-roasted tomatoes with any juices and season with salt and pepper. Simmer everything together for 5 more minutes and serve hot. Sprinkle with Romano cheese if desired.