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Patf
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One of the mysteries of France - what do french gardeners do with the vast amounts of tomatoes that they produce? Most people seem to have at least 20 plants. We have 6 and have already picked several kilos.

I slice some for salads and have made some chutney. But there's still about half the crop to come. I bought the plants as "cherry tomatoes" but they've become giants.

So seriously, what do french people do with them all? Pat. 

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Puree them cook with onions and garlic until liquid.  Sieve or put through a potato ricer (to take out the bits of skin).  Put into containers and freeze.

 

Can be used as the base for soups, chilli, Italian sauces or even curries - although proper curry should not have tomato in it sinc ethis is not an Indian plant.

 

Food snob - Moi?

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My kind gardening neighbour has just brought me another basketful of tomatoes...

I oven-roasted the lot he gave me last week and have added half of those to some fresh ones from this morning to make a delicious spicy tomato soup (it is cold here at the moment!!).

I will ladle half the soup into manageable-sized freezer bags and keep the other half in the fridge as soup or reduced it down as tomato sauce.

I am just waiting for the off-peak electricity rate to kick off so I can put 3 trays of halved fresh tomatoes to dry in the oven. I will leave them 3 hours at 120°C (250°F) and decant them into freezer bags for use as sauce or soup this winter.

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So what do you do with these frozen dried tomatoes when you want to use them? I suppose let them thaw out first, then do you soak them in boiling water?

I saw this gadget advertised on another forum: http://www2.westfalia.net/shops/household/kitchen/cooking_desiccating_grilling/desiccating_appliances/193811-food_dehydrator.htm

It might be worth investing in one if you have a lot of surplus produce. Pat.

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They're not dried, just semi-dried with caramelised juices.

I freeze them in small bags (1l) and they can be thrown into stock for soups, heated then whizzed, or into a pan with olive oil and onions for a quick tomato sauce.

I have looked into dehydrators, but with kitchen space at a premium, decided the oven would do [:D]

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What I would like is a relatively inexpensive way of preserving tomato pulp which could later be made into sauces and soups and which doesn't involve drying. I tried drying last year and produced some wonderful mould and the only bottling recipes I've found include whole tomatoes and involve sugar or vinegar; neither of which I want to use. Any ideas ?

Hoddy

 

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[quote user="Clair"]
I am just waiting for the off-peak electricity rate to kick off so I can put 3 trays of halved fresh tomatoes to dry in the oven. I will leave them 3 hours at 120°C (250°F) and decant them into freezer bags for use as sauce or soup this winter.
[/quote]

What a wonderful idea Clair, I do make "tomates confites" which are as you described (hours inb oven), but I never thought of freezing them!!! I bet it willbe fabulous to re-discover them in winter, as they explode with flavour! (I only put a pinch of sugar, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of oregano on them, and (optioal) a little drizzle of olive oil . Now I'd better get going and make all the surplus like that and freeze them.

Tomates confites make a very good starter - you can serve tapenade as well as part of the starter.

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[quote user="Lotmontel"]

although proper curry should not have tomato in it sinc ethis is not an Indian plant.

 

Has anybody told Madhur Jaffrey this? [:-))]

[/quote]

Tomatoes are not an Italian plant either nor French. Aubergine is not a French plant.Ingredients for ratatouille looking a bit short?

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I was hoping someone could come up with an idea that wouldn't involve me in buying yet more gadgets !

You could bottle them, we do quite successfully each year. 

Fry in oil 1 part onion, when soft add 5 parts toms, best skinned but if you dont mind skin then leave it.  Boil gently for 2 or 3 hours until you have a chutney like consistancy, thick and lumpy, and then put in jam jars, the ones with twist lids are best, if you do this when hot it creates a vacunm. We do this most years and have never had a jar go off.

Once you open the jar you can season as to your chosen use, garlic more onions chilli mushrooms etc

 

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