It’s been an amazingly good tomato year what with the heat and sunshine for weeks on end – so if you’ve eaten your fill of fresh tomatoes but still have a massive glut left over, now is the time to squirrel your surplus away for winter supplies.
Tomatoes are among the most generous of all the summer crops, and luckily one of the easiest to store. Here are some ideas of what you could do with yours:
1. A basic tomato sauce freezes best: splash a roasting tin with olive oil, then halve tomatoes and lay cut side down in the tin. Roast for 40 minutes in an oven heated to 230°C: once cooked, blitz in a food processor and freeze.
2. If the freezer is already full, you can bottle them instead. Leave small toms whole, or halve larger ones, removing the skin too. Pack tightly into jars, then put the jars in a covered pan of cold water up to their necks. Very slowly bring the water to simmering point over 1 1/2 hours. Hold them at 88°C for 40 minutes, then remove the jars and leave to cool.
3. Or try drying them: halve or quarter the toms, then pop onto baking trays lined with parchment and sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs as preferred. Dry in an oven preheated to 50°C for about seven hours: they're ready when they've reached the consistency of raisins. Store submerged in olive oil in a sterilised jar and they'll last up to six months.
4. Finally, if you run out of time at the end of the season and end up with too many green tomatoes to ripen successfully, just cut your losses and make a big vat of green tomato chutney. It makes the most of every last fruit from your greenhouse and is really delicious with a good Cheddar cheese and some biscuits!