tomatoes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA           Trish’s father, Jim, makes a mean Pico de Gallo. Of course there’s no recipe. Like most everything he whips together, it’s pure inspiration, deliberation,  moxy and deliciousness. And nearly impossible to duplicate. Here’s a take on Pico, à la Cycle Farm. Rainbow Pico de Gallo

  • 1 lb ripe cherry tomatoes, of rainbow colors, finely chopped
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch cilantro leaf, chopped (or more to taste!)
  • 2 -3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • salt

Mix these all together and enjoy with chips, on tacos or burritos, with scrambled eggs, etc. Note: chopping cherry tomatoes may seem almost as tedious as harvesting cherry tomatoes. This might be true. But the end effect in this technicolor fresh salsa is glorious.

Green tomato pie: like apple pie, there are lots of variations, here’s one.

Spicy tomato jam Great with grilled chicken or pork, on a burger, or serve with cheese and crackers.

  • 4 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped ripe tomatoes (2 1/2 to 3 pounds tomatoes)
  • 2 lemons, peel cut entirely away and discarded, seeds removed, flesh finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 pinches salt

     

    Combine all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a brisk simmer and continue to cook, stirring periodically skimming off any foam that forms on the surface and stirring frequently, until a thick, jamlike consistency is achieved and most of the liquid has evaporated, 30 to 35 minutes. (Stir more frequently during the last 10 minutes so that the jam doesn’t burn on the bottom of the pan.) Transfer the jam to hot sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/2 inch from the top, and attach the lids and rings. Once they have cooled, store the jars in the refrigerator for up to 4 months. (Alternatively, place the jam in covered nonreactive containers and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.)

 

 

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Storage tip:  Never refrigerate. Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness, place in a paper bag with an apple. Put it up! Wash and core tomatoes. Chop (with or without skins), place in Ziploc freezer bags, flatten and freeze. Do not overfill. Great for soups, stews, sauces or chili. For a very fast freezing method, wash and core tomatoes, leave whole and freeze on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, pack into Ziploc bags, label and freeze. When you pull the tomatoes out to use, simply run warm tap water over the tomatoes to remove skins.

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