Thursday, 28 August 2014

Using the Tomatoes part II

Hello All
 A warm Derbyshire welcome to Julie on the follower bar and Beth and Peggy on Bog lovin, lovely to see you here!
 I said in my last post that I would share a few favourite recipes using tomatoes. These recipes are quite seasonal and include veggies at their best and most prolific right now.

Tomato with green beans 
 Put 1lb halved french beans or some sliced runners in boiling water for three minutes. Strain the hot water over a basin holding a couple of pounds of tomatoes. Cool the beans and put aside. Drain the tomatoes,which can now be skinned, chopped and put aside.
In a frying pan gently fry one large chopped onion and a crushed garlic clove until soft. Add a spoonful of sugar or honey and stir for a couple of minutes to caremalise the onions.
Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar (red wine is good, but any will do really) and cook all for a minute.
 Now add the tomatoes with their juice, some chopped (fresh if you have it) basil, pepper and salt to taste and cook for a further 5 mins.
Add the beans and warm through to eat straight away or put into containers for the freezer.

I'm not a fan of frozen green beans but this recipe does freeze well

Shallots in tomato sauce
This is is a bit Greeky in flavour.
 Peel a couple of pounds of shallots and simmer gently in a red wine and apple juice - enough to barely cover the shallots - and simmer until beginning to soften. I use these two ingredients because I make them myself, but others might use white wine. Now add two tablespoons of sugar or honey, half a cup of tomato puree a bay leaf and salt and pepper. I have given my method for making tomato puree in my post "Using the Tomatoes part I"
Gently cook for a further five minutes, remove the bay leaf and serve or freeze for another day.
This dish freezes well.

Tomatoes with courgette "Spaghetti"
 Make a passatta using whatever method you choose. I have given mine in the "Using the Tomatoes part I" post.
 Cut a couple of large courgettes lengthways into long strips, either ribbon or matchstick shape and put aside.
  In a shallow pan gently cook a finely chopped onion and a crushed clove of garlic in olive oil. Add the passatta and simmer until the liquid thickens. Now add a spoonful of sugar or honey, salt and pepper and chopped basil and heat together on a low heat.
Meanwhile fill a saucepan with boiling water from the kettle. Drop the courgette strips into the boiling water and cook for a bare minute. Strain, put the strips in a bowl, toss in a teaspoon of olive oil and pour the sauce over.
You can ring the changes with this recipe by omitting the basil and adding paprika instead and adding chilli flakes to the courgette strips.

Garden Glut Chutney.
You will need a large saucepan or jam kettle. As you prepare and weigh each ingredient, place them into this pan.
Weigh two and a half kilos of prepared (chopped) fruit and vegetables - a mixture of -
Summer squash,Marrow or overgrown courgettes; Windfall Apples; Green and/or red tomatoes;
Plums; windfall pears.
 To these vegetables add -
Half a kilo of chopped onions
Half a kilo of sugar (brown or white)
Half a kilo of sultanas, raisins or chopped dates ( or a combination of) If you don't like dried fruit or want a less sweet chutney, you can omit this.
600ml Vinegar
Two Teaspoons Chilli flakes, fresh or dried
Three cloves crushed garlic.
 An inch of ginger, grated, or a teaspoon ground ginger if you haven't got this.
In a small piece of muslin (hankie?) put 12 cloves, 12 peppercorns, 12 coriander seeds that you have cracked in morter and pestle or with  a rolling pin. Tie this muslin up with string.
 You now have all the ingredients together. Cook for two to three hours, stirring often. When you draw a wooden spoon across the bottom of the pan you should see the bottom of the pan for a second or two.
 Pot into warm jars,
 This should make about eight jars.

Hope these recipes work for you.
Until next time
love Gillx


  1. This is the first year I can remember when that glut of tomatoes hasn't happened. Mine all were struck by disease (after I'd done all my preserving), and developed nasty rotting sores. I like that combination of tomatoes and beans.

    1. As you say, at least you got your bottling done. I'm rubbish at bottling so I tend to freeze my sauces and pastes

  2. Those all look delicious but the one that takes my eye is Tomato with green beans. That takes care of two gluts in one pot. I'm like you, I think frozen beans are a waste of space but runners do tend to get a bit over enthusiastic with themselves.

    1. That's what I like about this recipe...two gluts in one ! My beans have been very poor this year for the first time in many years

  3. The tomato and courgette sounds fab, will have to give that a try when I get a glut of both next year :-)

    1. Just alter the spices/herbs to suit your taste as the courgettes just drink up the flavour don't they?

  4. Thanks for these Gill. I have friends coming to stay at the end of September and I am trying to fill the freezer with things to ease the load while they are here - so I am hoping to find these useful, particularly the one with green beans as we have a glut at present.

    1. The green bean recipe is good for when you have guests, as you say, it can be prepared beforehand and goes well with meat eaters and veggies alike

  5. Gill, you ought to write a cook book!

  6. I keep toying with the idea of getting together with local smallholders to make a collection of recipes using simple homegrown produce.