Author Topic: Tomatoes and storage  (Read 1284 times)

Obelixx

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Tomatoes and storage
« on: October 08, 2021, 11:53:35 »
I am still harvesting tomatoes in the polytunnel - all sizes and some for cooking so we've eaten them fresh and cooked and I've made loads of passata with them and semi-dried lots of the cheery and pear tomatoes to keep in olive oil with garlic and herbs.  Great for winter treats on a pizza or on bruschetta with the apéro.

I still have lots of Ananas and Rose de Berne to harvest but don't want just to turn them into an amorphous sauce as they have such good flavour.  Has anyone tried semi drying them or has anyone other ways to use them up. 
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Tomatoes and storage
« on: October 08, 2021, 11:53:35 »

BarriedaleNick

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Re: Tomatoes and storage
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2021, 09:12:24 »
I dry tomatoes (roma types) in the dehydrator and then store them in oil.  It's a bit difficult to get the levels of dryness right - too much and they are like wood, too little and they might go off.  They are great later in the winter and are versatile as you can use them in salads or stews or soups...
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tricia

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Re: Tomatoes and storage
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2021, 10:47:24 »
My freezers are too full of other harvested produce to do more than add the last of the tomatoes separately into any nooks and crannies I can find. Very easy to take out as needed for soups,  stews etc.-  easy to peel too, just dunk briefly in hot water first (no good for salads of course 😉. )

Tricia  :wave:

Obelixx

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Re: Tomatoes and storage
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2021, 11:21:46 »
Thanks both.  No room in my freezers either.  All the plum type tomatoes have been "sauced" and I have 5 jars of the cherry and pear types in oil.  Best try that trick with the bigger ones there but maybe cut them into quarters or more.
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pumpkinlover

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Re: Tomatoes and storage
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2021, 08:26:22 »
I semi dehydrate then freeze. This year been idle ( too busy?) and not done any passata yet



Obelixx

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Re: Tomatoes and storage
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2021, 15:45:25 »
40 pots of passata so far and now adding semi dried in oil to the collection.

The big ones take a lot longer to shrink down, even when cut into smaller pieces but I now have separate jars of red cherry, red pear, black cherry; green zebra, ananas and rose de Berne.  More to do on Tuesday as I've been busy with other stuff today and am out all day tomorrow.

I might just grow fewer plants next year.
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BarriedaleNick

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Re: Tomatoes and storage
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2021, 17:06:19 »
One other thing I do is tomato powder.  Really dry them out and blitz them up to make a powder.  Keeps for ages and is great for stews, curries, soups, pasta etc..
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Obelixx

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Re: Tomatoes and storage
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2021, 17:09:35 »
I don't have a dehydrator, just the ovens and they'd have to be on for days to dry our tomatoes enough to make a powder.   Lovely idea tho.
Obxx - Vendée France

BarriedaleNick

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Re: Tomatoes and storage
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2021, 19:34:27 »
I dry chilis and some stuff in our sun room here!  Still 30c today and the room get lots of sun so it is great for drying stuff.
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Vinlander

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Re: Tomatoes and storage
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2021, 13:39:28 »
I've always found that tomatoes lose flavour when frozen on their own (sometimes you can see a layer of oil from them on the inside of the bag but it's almost impossible to make use of it).

The answer is to heat them in a pan with as little as half or even a quarter the quantity of fried onions and freeze that - IMHO it stops any of the flavour being lost and I can't personally think of a single recipe for cooked tomatoes that isn't improved by onions.

Obviously it takes up a bit of extra space in the freezer (and everyone is running out about now) but you can counteract that by letting it reduce a bit more in the pan.

This process of making the first stage of a recipe and freezing it has the same magic effect on any problem vegetable - especially green beans (which can taste fishy when frozen alone). In fact the only veg that doesn't need it is fresh peas and mature beans (seeds) - I'm sure the skin on the seed does that trick.

Cheers.

PS. I've been leaving as many Green Tigers (aka Highlander) as I can spare to shrivel slightly on the vine because it intensifies the flavour (the skin is tough enough to keep most bugs & fungi out - at least under cover). The same applies to Shimmer - I think they are close relatives, though the skins aren't quite as reliable - some people want thin skins more than flavour -  :BangHead: Bonkers. I've never tasted a sun dried tomato that comes within a mile of it - most of the commercial ones taste of nothing at all - cardboard maybe?
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

pumpkinlover

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Re: Tomatoes and storage
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2021, 07:45:21 »
Interesting Vinlander, I might try the onion and drying idea.



Vinlander

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Re: Tomatoes and storage
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2021, 12:14:04 »
I must admit I've never tried to use Green Tigers dried on the living plant as a long term storage solution - they are much too delicious to resist for long (the yellow/green "Artisan Green Tiger" version works just as well, and might even be sweeter). The skins of its close rello "Shimmer" aren't as tough - not worth deliberately drying - though I've had a few overlooked fruits that survived it.

When frosts become more likely I often hang the whole living plant in a dry place to ripen - maybe I'll risk leaving a few well-wrinkled ripe fruit (since I'll be checking progress daily anyway).

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

Vinlander

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Re: Tomatoes and storage
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2021, 12:17:08 »
One other thing I do is tomato powder.  Really dry them out and blitz them up to make a powder.  Keeps for ages and is great for stews, curries, soups, pasta etc..

Hi,  BarriedaleNick

Presumably drying for powder involves more slicing for a quicker result? Does that retain more flavour or less?

If more, I might be tempted to dry millimetre slices of wrinkly fruit - maybe freeze dry? What do you think?

Cheers.
With a microholding you always get too much or bugger-all. (I'm fed up calling it an allotment garden - it just encourages the tidy-police).

The simple/complex split is more & more important: Simple fertilisers Poor, complex ones Good. Simple (old) poisons predictable, others (new) the opposite.

Obelixx

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Re: Tomatoes and storage
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2021, 14:42:55 »
After reading a rave review for a recipe for Bengali tomato "chatney" online I tried it as a side dish with sausages baked with lentils and leeks.  Sausages excellent but the Bengali thing was far too sweet.   Found myself adding cider vinegar and chilli to help it along.

Won't be making that again!
Obxx - Vendée France