This post is inspired by my love of growing, and eating, tomatoes every dry season here in the tropics. In northern Australia our dry season goes from May until October and is the best time for tomato growing along with many other crops. There is nothing as delicious as a warm, sun-ripened tomato plucked straight from the vine; nothing you buy from the supermarket compares!
This year we planted thirteen vines and they delivered as always. Tomato sandwiches, tomatoes on toast, salads, spaghetti bolognaise, and a freezer full of frozen tomatoes to use in place of tinned tomatoes throughout the year.
Trades with our neighbours are a regular occurrence, bags of tomatoes for some pumpkins or lemons, zucchinis traded for a dozen eggs or sweet potatoes.
We also have a (sort of) strict rule that all visitors MUST take a bag of tomatoes with them when they leave. No one protests too much but eventually even our visitors are inundated and try to sneak off without the obligatory bag.
But eventually the freezer fills up, the tomato-based recipes don't keep up with the surplus and you need to look at other options for using up all that deliciousness.
One of my new favourite ways to preserve tomatoes is by dehydrating them. I'm just starting out on the dehydrator journey but tomatoes are especially delicious prepared in this way. The cherry tomatoes are just sliced in half or quartered if particularly large, the romas are halved or sliced as well, and the bigger tomatoes are thickly sliced. Some are sprinkled with oregano or salt but the rest are left plain to really maximise their sweetness. Eight hours in the dehydrator at 70c & they are still pliable but with that intense flavour of store-bought sun-dried tomatoes. ❤
This was the result of four trays worth of tomatoes.
A favourite recipe that I regularly make during peak tomato season is this tomato pie I found on the Fresh Eggs Daily site. It's not common in Australia but we have fallen in love with it.
Excuse the half eaten state, it's too delicious to last long fresh out of the oven. :)
A final testament to my love of tomatoes was this year's birthday card from my other half. He definitely understands and appreciates all the tomato goodness he receives every tomato season!
If you have any more tomato recipes to share please do, I'm always hunting for more. 🍅🍅🍅