I started all my veggies early this year, knowing I could pop them into the greenhouse during the warmer winter days. The result of this was a major output garden - well actually some things thrived and some not so much. I planted a Salsa garden that was 4 ft x 12 ft long, in it I planted 24 tomato plants staggered at every other square foot. In the extra spaces between them I planted peppers, basil, spinach, cilantro, onion and some nasturtium that I heard was spicy for salsa. Well the tomatoes took off very fast, and immediately over shadowed everything else in the space. Turns out even though you "can" plant tomatoes 1 ft apart, you probably shouldn't put that many together, on top of this, I also decided to replant all the early suckers, which has led to several extra tomatoes plants that are also fruit bearing (slowly).
By mid July my tomatoes were 9ft high and starting to topple over. I have been collected a huge bowl of ripe cherry tomatoes every other day. I needed to find something to do with them... Here are a few recipes that you might enjoy, I have made all of these so far, and still looking for more recipes. As I have mentioned before, I am not a huge fan of caning and freezing at this time, I'm more of a live in the moment kind of gal. So I like to use up my produce as it ripens for instant meals my family will love!
1. Pico de Gallo Salsa
This was a quick fresh recipe we made to munch on throughout the weekend. You will need about:
3-4 Cups of cherry tomatoes, washed, dried, halved, and lightly salted in a strainer for about 20 mins or so while you prep everything else (Save The Juice)
3-4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly cut in half
1/4 C fresh Cilantro - washed, dried and remove stems
1/2 large red onion
1/2 lime juiced
1 red pepper roughly chopped (substitute for cayenne pepper if you like hot)
1 green pepper roughly chopped (substitute for jalapeno if you like extra hot) (we used sweet bell peppers, so just added a few red child flakes for spiciness)
Salt n pepper to taste
Some restaurant style Nachos for dipping
Add ingredients to blender with half the tomatoes, and just blend until chunky not watery, add the extra half of tomatoes and just either immersion blend them or chop finely. Let sit in fridge, covered for about 30 mins and then serve with nachos, sour cream and Guac. If you find there is too much liquid, just strain some off (and keep for another recipes listed below). Will stay fresh for about 3-5 days in fridge. This makes about 6 Cups.
2. Grilled Zucchini and Tomatoes
Minced garlic lighly sautéed in a bit of olive oil
Add cubed zucchini to pan
Add cherry tomatoes picked at the soft orange stage not bright red (too sweet for grilling) add to pan
Add handful of washed, dried spinach
Add fresh herbs- Oregano and lots of chopped Basil
Salt n pepper to taste
Once everything is lightly sautéed (don’t overcook it to mushi-ness) add fresh Parmesan cheese and heat to melt
We usually make this mix minus the zucchini and spread on sliced tomatoes and bake in oven. But if you have been following we have a TON of zucchini and cherry tomatoes this year and trying to incorporate into every day meals.
So here are two great summer recipes to get you started, one, refreshing and cold perfect for snacking, and the other a yummy warm flavoured dinner without cranking on the oven. For now, I have to get out there and water my garden... but here a few more of my favourites Im dying to share with you...
3. Brushetta (COMING SOON)
4. Caesar mix (COMING SOON- HINT used with liquid saved from making salsa!!)
5. Cucumber Tomatoes Dill salad (COMING SOON)
6. Oven roasted balsamic cherry tomatoes (COMING SOON)
7. Cherry tomatoe sauce (COMING SOON)
8. Tomatoe bean salad (COMING SOON)
9. Cold Tomato Soup - sweeter than hot soup recipe (COMING SOON)
10. Hot Cream of Tomato soup - spicier than cold tomato soup (COMING SOON)
You can also use this time to choose and prepare seeds for next years growing season. just make sure you label them and properly store them.