How to use up all those tomatoes

Storing tomatoes

Fully ripe tomatoes can be refrigerated but are best kept at room temperature. Tomatoes stored in the refrigerator tend to lose flavour but will still be edible.

Beefsteak tomato

Ripe tomatoes

  • Salads, especially using different varieties and colours. Try tossing tomato wedges with canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, black olives, capers and fresh basil, thyme or oregano with lemon juice and olive oil.
  • Soups
  • Sauces -eg. in casseroles, tossed through pasta
  • Tomato sauce or passata
  • Salsa is excellent served with tortilla chips or with your favourite Mexican-food recipe.
  • Slow roasted with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic. Serve as bruschetta on toasted sourdough with goats cheese or ricotta, fresh basil and cracked black pepper.
  • Stuffed – especially cherry tomatoes and served with drinks
  • Preserves, relishes, chutneys using ripe or green tomatoes.

Green tomatoes

Green Acid Free tomatoes

Don’t wait for them to ripen. Tomatoes are often picked unripe and green and can be crumbed and pan fried or used in pickles, relishes and chutneys and stored in airtight jars so they’re on hand all year long. Or why not try the Green Tomato and Walnut Cake, recipe below.

To ripen green tomatoes put them in a warm spot but not in direct sunlight or place them in a paper bag with a ripe banana, which releases with ethylene gas.

Freezing tomatoes

If there are just too many tomatoes to use fresh, try freezing. Fresh tomatoes tend to break up after freezing, but frozen tomatoes are perfect for casseroles, soups and sauces.

RECIPE

Green tomatoes

Green Tomato & Walnut Cake

Makes 1 x 20cm round cake

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups sugar

125g butter, melted

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups self raising flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1/2 cup sultanas

1 1/2 cups diced green tomatoes

Method

Preheat oven to 180ºC. Combine sugar, melted butter, eggs and vanilla in a medium bowl and beat until smooth and creamy. In a separate bowl sift flour, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Gradually beat the sugar mixture into the flour and mix until well combined. Stir in walnuts, sultanas and tomatoes. Pour into a greased or baking paper lined 20cm round cake tin. Bake in a moderate oven (180ºC) for one hour, or until skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove cake from pan to a cake rack and leave to cool.

(Recipe adapted from Southern Food)

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