Try these tips to make the most of extra tomatoes this summer. / Foodcollection RF/Getty Images/Foodcollection
In the dead of winter, it’s hard to imagine you’d ever be flummoxed by an abundance of sweet, sun-kissed tomatoes. But every summer, it happens. So this year, it might be worth trying some new ways to deal with the deluge.
Make a quick sauce. You can’t go wrong with a good, simple tomato sauce, says Rich Landau, chef-owner at Vedge Restaurant in Philadelphia. He cooks tomatoes down until the volume is reduced by half, then adds enough water to restore original volume. After adding two bay leaves, salt, pepper and fresh garlic, he simmers for 30 minutes, then stirs in fresh herbs and olive oil.
Create a flavored salt. Chef Tucker Yoder of the Clifton Inn in Charlottesville, Va., seasons his eggs, pasta — anything — with a tomato-infused salt. He simply purées kosher salt with tomatoes in a blender, lays it on a sheet tray, and lets it dehydrate for a couple of nights in an oven with the pilot light on, or in a 100-degree oven until dry (about six hours).
Stash ’em. “We pick tomatoes in August when they are green and hard as a baseball,” says chef Cory Bahr of Restaurant Cotton in Monroe, La. “Then we wrap them up in a couple of layers of newspaper and put them on a tray under the bed. By Christmas they are perfectly ripe. It’s an old Southern trick from my grandfather, and it works!”