One of the best performing plants from my garden was my cherry tomato plant. Unlike all the other tomato plants that essentially produced nothing over the entire season, the cherry tomato plant was absolutely covered in delicious little balls of awesomeness and still is. If my other plants weren’t so pathetic I might not have needed to buy tomatoes by the crate, but them’s the breaks.
The problem with cherry tomatoes from a single plant is that you’re bringing in about a dozen tomatoes from it every couple days. That’s way more than we need for a salad, but way less than we would need to make anything substantial and can-able. Since our freezer space is at a premium, we couldn’t toss them in there to brighten up a few dark winter nights. They had to go. We did, however, throw together a few little batches of things that worked very well:
Peach and Cherry Tomato Salsa
We had some pick-your-own peaches left over from our various jam-making sessions, and a few hot peppers coming in from the garden, so I made a batch or two of easy peach salsa. I mixed a diced peach, some diced onion, a clove of minced garlic, half a finely-chopped serrano pepper, some cilantro, about two dozen of my little cherry tomatoes and the juice of one lime together into a bowl for a sweet and cheery summer salsa. It was the perfect accompaniment to a lazy weekend lunch. Plus, salsas like this are so easy to throw together without having to follow any recipe. Pick some salsa-sounding ingredients you like and combine them together according to your tastes.
Cherry Tomato Bruschetta
Dana and I love fresh bruschetta. It ranks among the top of the list of things we might arrogantly refer to as our “specialties”. We made a great little bowl of fresh bruschetta by mixing together some of our cherry tomatoes, garlic, fresh basil, small balls of fresh mozzarella, balsamic vinegar and some extra virgin olive oil. We served it on some thin-sliced, garlic’d baguette. Unfortunately this recipe didn’t last long enough to get a picture of it.
“Sundried” Cherry Tomatoes
I brought in my biggest single-harvest batch of the cherry tomatoes over Dana’s birthday weekend and didn’t have any immediate plans for what to do with them. Drawing inspiration from one of my favorite sites, I cut them in half, sea-salted them, and tossed them in the oven. Oven-dried “sundried” tomatoes! The recipe I saw for these suggested it would take 2-3 hours. 5 hours later they were finally dried out and ready to store. I don’t know why there was such a discrepancy in the times, but I was glad I started early in the morning.
About 30 cherry tomatoes produced less than an 8-oz jar of dried tomatoes, but each one packs a big flavor. Part of me wants to find a great recipe to use them in. Another one wants to sit down on the couch and eat them like chips. Next time for small-batch drying I may try the toaster oven instead. It’s got naturally better ventilation and requires less energy to operate.
As I write this I have about two dozen of these cherry tomatoes sitting in my kitchen and maybe a dozen more on that vine that should ripen before the season comes to a screeching halt. I’m not quite sure, but I may dry these last few out if we can’t think of something better and soon.