There’s been no getting away from the summer of tomatoes at Chez Foti. A ridiculous amount. An obscene amount for a family of four. At my last count there were 72 plants, with self-seeded newbies appearing every day all over the plot, like some tomatoey horror B movie. I need to stop counting them! They’ve taken over my life these last few months with many an evening spent chopping, blanching, saucing, souping, chutneying or drying. Chez Foti’s been a bit of a tomato processing plant at times. The new and especially purchased chest freezer is now full to the brim. But luckily the harvest’s finally starting to subside, and will totally subside when the frosts start, probably very soon. And then it’ll all be over, bar a mountain of green tomatoes, until next year. And next year, mark my words, I will not be growing so many. No where near as many.
Of all the veggies (or indeed fruits) to have a glut of, tomatoes have to be the most versatile and useful, and can handily be cooked down to make all manner of wonderful sauces and soups to bring out all year round. And believe me I’ve made a few!. Here’s my favourite recipes for a glut: A Glut of Tomatoes Pasta Sauces (so useful to store in the freezer for pasta or pizza sauces), Homemade Sun Dried Tomatoes (I urge you try to these if you’ve a few tommies going spare, they’re truly sublime beyond sublime!), One Pot Ratatouille (can handily be frozen too). I’ve also been making many a tommie soup, though as yet haven’t blogged any recipes. One of my favourite recipes is Felicity Cloake’s Perfect Tomato Soup from the Guardian website. To be honest I reckon most people would struggle to beat this recipe, it’s totally the most perfect tommie soup you could wish to eat, aside from Heinz obviously.
Tomatoes have featured in pretty much every evening meal we’ve eaten at Chez Foti over the summer. And indeed many a breakie (tommies on toast!) and many a lunch (think soups, sandwiches, salads, tarts). Here’s my favourite dinner time tommie treats: Garden Pasta, Spaghetti alla Puttenesca with Fresh Tomatoes, Tagliatelle with Cherry Tomatoes & Mascarpone, A Couple of Tomato Tarts, Roasted Veggie Lasagne, Couscous with Roasted Veggies & Feta, Cheese, Tomato & Courgette Bread & Butter Pudding.
As for the umteem of tomatoey salads dished up at Chez Foti, we’ve been munching our way through many a simple Tomato & Red Onion Salad through to my favourite Greek Salad and Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Salad a plenty. Then there’s been the lightly more sophisticated Salad Nicoises and Roasted Tomato Salads and I’ve regularly thrown in a few homemade Sun Dried Tomatoes to liven up a plain green salad.
I’ve been pretty busy trying out fellow blogger’s tomatoey recipes too. There’s been the delicious Stuffed Tomatoes with Herbs and Oats from Karen @ Lavender and Lovage, I’ve now made these many an evening. I’ve also been baking and stuffing tomatoes with pork or lamb mince and just a simple and divine oozy goats cheese (thanks to Mr Nigel Slater!). Mr F’s is a huge fan of stuffed tomatoes in any form, so he’s one happy husband these days!.
I’ve been making several loaves of Kitchen Ninja’s delicious Tomato, Courgette & Basil Bread which is oh so perfect with tommie soup. I urge you make this!. The Tomato Gratin from Laura @ How to Cook Good Food is wonderful, served simply with some fresh french bread on the side, as is the heavenly Goats Cheese & Oven-Dried Tomato Pappardelle from Keith @ Reluctant Housedad. And I have to mention the divine tomatoey heaven of Vanesther’s Slow Roasted Tomato & Oregano Pizza from the award winning Bangers and Mash Chat blog. Last but not least I have to mention the deeeelicious Tomato Relish from A Wee Bit of Cooking, just perfect with my Barbecue Burgers or even in a cheese sandwich (goats cheese in particular!).
So that’s it for my rather long Tomato Veg of the Month round up blog. Believe me I still have a list of tomatoey recipes as long as my arm to make, blog or try and I haven’t been nearly as inventive as I’d wanted to, but time as usual has got the better of me. It’s been a hectic couple of months of school holidays, holidays to the UK and rentree back to school (for both littlies, eek!). I’m hoping though to bring a few more tomato treats to you before they’re finished for the year (and even then I’ve an entire freezer full to blog about!). I narrowly missed entering July’s One Ingredient Tomato Challenge (held jointly by Laura at How to Cook Good Food and Nazima at London Working Mummy) waiting for mine to ripen, but there’s a whole host of wonderful recipes to try, and wonderful blogs to peruse.
October’s all about the squash and pumpkin.…as we’ve more than a few of those too! I’d love to hear your favourite uses, ideas and recipes.
Did you catch my other Veg of the Months? July Veg of the Month: The Courgette, June Veg of the Month: Swiss Chard.
October 4th, 2012 at 1:30 pm
Wow – what an amazing collection of tomato recipes. I’m definitely bookmarking this page so that I can gradually work my way through them all. And thanks for mentioning my pizza – it’s the first time I’ve seen ‘Bangers & Mash’ described as an award-winning blog – made my grin big time!
October 4th, 2012 at 1:32 pm
Couldn’t help but throw the ‘award winning’ in! Well done again, a seriously brill achievement!
October 5th, 2012 at 8:56 am
Such wonderful pictures and recipes, thank you.
October 8th, 2012 at 11:44 am
October 5th, 2012 at 12:42 pm
Thank you !!! Tomatoes (proper tomatoes) are definitely a favourite, and even if I can’t pop out and pick them in the garden, our local greengrocer in Toulouse have some local grown ones 🙂 Can’t wait to try the ‘home dried tomatoes’ – and the bread and butter pudding 🙂
October 8th, 2012 at 11:46 am
Do try your own ‘sun’ dried tomatoes. So worth the effort for such a sublime flavour. And the savory bread & butter pud is a bit of a favourite with us these days, might even make it for the our dinner tonight.
October 5th, 2012 at 4:12 pm
Oh, oh, oh, those tomatoes look so incredible. Congratulations on producing such a wonderful glut. Hard work I’m sure, but to be living off home grown tomato produce all year round has got to be worth it. Last year we managed to grow enough to make two small jars of tomato sauce and that was a coup – this year nothing at all 😦
October 8th, 2012 at 11:48 am
Thanks so much. Yes, we’re really lucky to have pretty consistently good weather here to grow most things in relative abundance. I’m a really novice gardener really (only my second season of growing) but most things magically turn out OK!. It’s certainly going to be a winter of tomatoes too for us as we plough our way through the wares of the freezer!
October 5th, 2012 at 6:15 pm
You are so lucky to have such a mass of good produce to grow where you live. Tomatoes are so good eaten in so many ways. I do love the way you have gathered together all of your ideas and put them into this really useful post. A great source of information!
October 8th, 2012 at 11:49 am
Thanks Laura, like your own One Ingredient Challenge I really enjoy pulling together all the different ways I’ve used a particular veg…and it’s usually because we’ve such a big glut that that’s pretty much all we’ve eaten that month anyway!.
October 8th, 2012 at 12:05 pm
After a rubbish tomato harvest nere this year, I’m thinking a glut like yours would be wonderful to have – especially when you have such a great collection of recipes to go with it!
October 8th, 2012 at 8:05 pm
Thanks Sarah, although I moan about the Great Tomato Glut a lot, I do appreciate we’re pretty lucky for them to grow so easily and in abundance here! It’s just a full time job trying to keep up sometimes 🙂