There’s no such thing as too many home-grown tomatoes. For home canners, you can put up whole tomatoes, tomato juice, salsa, ketchup, tomato sauce if you get tired of eating the tasty red orbs. And if you’re short on time, you can freeze them for later use.
I’m right in the middle of tomato season. Ours are ripening at a pace of one large bowl a day. I just finished putting 8 pints of whole tomatoes into our big canner. It’s the second batch of whole tomatoes that I have canned. It won’t be long before I start canning tomato juice and salsa. And that’s not counting all the tomatoes Therese has used in salads and the ones for BLTs.
For people who are looking for more ways to use tomatoes, there is “The Too Many Tomatoes Cookbook,” by Brian Yarvin (The Countryman Press, $19.95). It’s loaded with good recipes such as the following.
4 large ripe tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus oil for baking dish
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
½ pound ground lamb or beef or pork
½ cup uncooked white rice
2 tablespoons pine nuts
¼ cup raisins
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup chicken broth
Cut the tops off the tomatoes. Use a serrated grapefruit spoon to hollow out the bodies. Reserve bodies, tops and pulp.
Heat the oil, onion and garlic in a skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 15 minutes or until the onion begins to turn golden on the edges. Add the lamb and 1 cup of the reserved tomato pulp and continue cooking for about 20 minutes or until meat is completely browned. Mix in rice, pine nuts, raisins, salt and broth.
Lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer covered for 20 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Oil a baking dish. Fill the hollow tomatoes with the meat mixture and stand them on end in the baking dish. Place the reserved tops on the tomatoes. Brush tomatoes with olive oil, and bake for 30 minutes or until completely cooked. Serve warm.
Yield: Serves 4.
Note: Lamb can be difficult to find and sometimes you need a change-up from ground beef, so try ground pork in this recipe.