If I get overwhelmed with Cherry tomatoes..

dgkritch(Z8 OR)July 14, 2005

What's your favorite thing to do with Cherry Toms (Sweet 100) once you've canned, frozen, given away and eaten twice your weight in them????

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soren(Zone 9 Sun 17)

If you really want to reduce volume you can dry them, you end up with tiny tomato "raisins," good for throwing in pasta dishes and stuff.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 7:18PM
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I have 8 Sweet Million Plants. They are dime size whereas 100's are nickel size. I have no problem getting rid of them. My grandkids gobble them up as does my husband. He takes many quarts to his golfing buddies. In return I get loads of home made goodies. I prefer the sweet millions over the hundreds as they don't crack, especially after a rain or even just watering.
If I did have extra, I would put them in my freezer just as they are and save them for my veggie juice cocktail I will make later in the season.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 8:35PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

I dry them by the hundred, as soren suggests. I don't have a dehydrator --- I just cut them in half and put them cut-side-up in the oven on a very low setting. Then into Ziplock bags & store in the freezer.

I have stopped bothering to dry bigger tomatoes, in fact, because I find the cherries are perfect --- they dry more quickly, and when I use 'em, there's no chopping needed, I just throw them into salads, pastas, stews, onto pizzas.... THey defrost in no time, and are SO tasty!

I've been doing this about three years, and I think last year I FINALLY managed to dry enough to last the year --- I have one baggie left in the freezer and my plants are covered with blossoms & little wee fruits, so there should be a new batch soon!


    Bookmark   July 14, 2005 at 10:00PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

Yeah, I guess I need to get the dryer out again, haven't used it for a couple of years.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 11:18AM
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Pink_Petunia(3a Cnd)

So how do you dry them in a dehydrator? Do they have to be sliced in half? Just wash, spread out and let the deyhdrator do its thing? That would be a delight! How do you store them, just put them in a baggie in the freezer? Thanks:)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 12:33PM
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soren(Zone 9 Sun 17)

For drying I cut a little x in the bottom, drop in boiling water then run under cold water to remove the skin. Then I cut in half squeeze the seeds out. A bit time consuming. hehe

OK really, I just wash, cut in half and dry in the dehydrator.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 7:40PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

Pink Petunia,

If they are completely dried, you don't need to keep them in the freezer at all --- they store in a jar at room temperature just fine.

I keep mine in the freezer because I have had a few batches get moldy in the cupboard,and even in the fridge --- presumably because they aren't 100% dried, since I do them in the oven. SOme batches kept just fine. But I hate to lose any! They don't take up much room in the freezer so I just pop 'em in there. But with a real dehydrator you may not need to bother.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 9:05PM
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IF you really have tons of them you can make a great sauce out of them. Put in a little water and boil for a few minutes. Then put them thru a collander to mash out the seeds and skin. Put the thick juice in a crock pot and let it reduce at low temp for about 24 hours (leave the lid off) you wind up with a really sweet wonderful rich sauce. Great for Pizza!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 1:08AM
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sos_acres(Z5 SE IA)

They can be pickled while still green, if you are looking for something really different.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 10:57AM
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Not a canning/preserving method, but a great way to prepare them for a meal:

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

4 pints cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
20 fresh basil leaves, chopped fine
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Toss the tomatoes (whole) lightly with olive oil on a baking sheet. Spread them out in one layer and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until the tomatoes are soft.
Transfer tomatoes to a serving platter and sprinkle with basil and sea slat. Serve hot or room temp.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 8:34PM
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pkock(z6 OH)

I'm SO glad to see this thread because I planted 4 grape tom plants this year. Grapes are very prolific. Last year I had 1 plant and was always giving them away. I like giving my veggies away to friends and neighbors, but not just because I don't know what else to do with them. :)

Still waiting for them to come in, though.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 12:38AM
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Two things I like to do with cherry tomatoes:

1) Slice them in half & pipe softened herb cheese (like Boursin, Alouette, or a homemade recipe) on top. Garnish with a tiny sprig/leaf of any fresh herb.

2) Make "Bloody Mary" tomatoes: Peel them (just submerge for a few seconds in boiling water, then plunge into ice water - skins easily slip off), & soak them in vodka. Serve with a dish of good quality sea salt & toothpicks on the side.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 12:27PM
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zabby17(z5/6 Ontario)

Oh, breezyb, the Bloody Mary tomatoes are an inspired idea!


    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 12:48PM
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There's a man who enters dried cherry tomatoes every year at our fair. He sprinkles halves with a little coarse salt, lots of pepper and some herbs (different combos) before he dries them, then he dries them cut side up. They are woooonderful....

    Bookmark   July 17, 2005 at 2:50PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

Mmmmmm......thanks for all the wonderful ideas! I think I'll try some with Italian seasonings for tossing into spaghetti sauce all winter! I like the Bloody Mary toms too! Wonder if they could be preserved till Christmas like that????? Have some relatives that would really get a kick out of that (in more ways than one I guess)!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 3:03PM
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lpinkmountain(5b/6a border PA)

I made green tomato pickles one year out of green cherry toms that I had by tha gazillions and were threatened by an early frost. They were great, my friends used them instead of green olives in their martinis. I used them in salads and as an appetizer with crackers and cheese.

I also made salsa out of the cherry toms that year. They're a pain to make sauce out of because of all the skins and seeds, but at that time I didn't have a food mill. I must say though, that cherry toms make fab. tomato sauce types of things--salsa, chutney and chili sauce were what I made with them. I mixed them with some regular size toms.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 3:55PM
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malonanddonna(z7 NC)

I've got over two quarts of yellow pear cherrie tomatoes frozen with two vines producing more every day. I plan to add them to my homemade chili this fall/winter. Hopefully the yellow color will add a bit of pizazz to the normal red & green colors of chili.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 4:23PM
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Another fresh use I like them for is to simply cut them up and toss with buttered pasta, salt/pepper. You could use olive oil and add basil, garlic or any number of herbs. I plan to dry a bunch of mine when I get around to it. As others have said, they are a great snack or used in stews, sauces, etc. Lori

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 10:48PM
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Pink_Petunia(3a Cnd)

Oh so many great ideas! I like the idea of sprinkling herbs on the cut side and then dehydrating.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 1:27PM
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I picked 2-1/2 gallons of the yellow pears and par boiled then blanched etc. then put the whole mess in a blender and made tomato puree out of them into the freezer they went.
They make a killer pasta sauce.

I have also dried them and put them in jars.

What else do you do with 12 yellow pears what a hoot I wont grow that many next year.
PS sun gold pasta sauce is to die for.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 2:54PM
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malonanddonna(z7 NC)

worth1 - twelve yellow pear plants!!! I'm overrun with 2 so I can't imagine that. I'll keep freezing mine a cookie sheet at a time and maybe this fall when its cooler thaw them out for a special yellow tomato sauce.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 4:10PM
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plsgrow(7A TN)

I melt some butter (well, a lot) in a large skillet. When bubbly, I add halved cherry tomatoes and simmer until tender, add a little garlic powder and basil. I hasten the process by covering the skillet for 10 to 15 minutes. I vary the seasonings to suit my taste buds. Fantastic served over steak, fish, chicken or whatever I decide to combine it with.

Thanks for this thread. I also have found myself "plum whelmed over" with three different varieties of cherries and the unusual white/yellow grape size, sweet coyote tomato.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2005 at 4:19PM
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I'm also glad to find this thread. I picked my very first ripe tomato yesterday, one tiny little SunGold. Being the magnanimous person I am, I let Dad have it, but I know it's just the beginning.


    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 12:41PM
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dgkritch(Z8 OR)

I have pickled the greem toms too. My family wasn't real crazy about them due to the "squirt down your throat" effect! They were good though! But, BOY! that juice will set off a coughing attack like you wouldn't believe!!!
I like the sauce idea, we eat lots of spaghetti.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 1:01PM
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goldenbuckeye(5/6 OH)

DH picked a 5 gallon bucket of cherry tomatoes the other day along with a 5 gallon bucket of large tomatoes. I mixed them all together and juiced them. I don't know how it would taste to use only the cherries for the juice. We have 4 cherry plants and they're still loaded so I might try pickling some green ones. Anyone have a recipe?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 12:18AM
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DPallas(z6, SW Mo)

From Putting Food By © 1982 The Stephen Green Press

This recipe seems to work on any green tomato, large, medium, or small, including cherry tomatoes. I've also reduced the weight of tomatoes if I don't have enough, and substitituted green peppers for red, mildly hot for sweet, or left out the peppers entirely.

Green Tomato Pickles

7.5 lbs green tomatos (about 30 medium)
6 good-sized onions
3/4 cup pickling salt
1 tablespoon celery seed
1 tablespoon whole allspice
1 tablespoon mustard seed
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon pepper corns
1/2 lemon
2 sweet red peppers
2.5 cups brown sugar
3 cups vinegar 5% acidity

Wash tomatos well, cut off blossom ends, blemishes, and stems. Slice thin crossways. Peel and slice onions in thin rings. Sprinkle salt over alternate layers of sliced tomatos and onions in an earthenware dish, and let stand in cool place overnight. (Suggest you substitute a covered glass bowl in the refrigerator.) Drain off the brine, rinse the vegetables thoroughly in cold water and drain well. Slice the lemon thinly and remove the seeds; wash the peppers well, remove stems and seeds, slice thinly crossways. Tie all the spices loosely in muslin or a double layer of cheesecloth, add the spice bag and the sugar to the vinegar in a large enamelware kettle; bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, onions, lemon, and peppers. Cook for 30 minutes after the mixture returns to a boil, stirring gently to prevent scorching. Remove the spice bag, pack the pickles in hot jars and cover with boiling-hot liquid, leaving 1/2 inch of headroom. Adjust lids. Process in a Boiling-Water Bath (212F/100C) for 10 minutes. Remove jars; complete seals if necessary. Makes about 6 pints.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 12:08PM
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Lisaj_OH(z5 OH)

My dehydrator has been running for about 1 1/2 weeks now! This recipe I got from Patris awhile back is AWESOME!!!! I have been doing most of my cherry and grape tomatoes this way. Also, I have been marinating the tomatoes for 2 days....I have a 3 part system going on at all times! I pick toms every 2 days, have some in the fridge for 2 days, and some drying for 2 days...then I do it all again!

1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 Cup Onion (fine chop)
2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
1/4 Cup Parsley (fine chop)

If you have a blender or processor use that for ease. Mix all together. Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Soak tomatoes in marinade over night or at least 4 hours for best taste.
Place on non-stick baking sheet and heat oven to lowest temp. Mine goes down to 125, but found 180 to 200 works best. I have been doing mine at night from 7:00pm until around 11:00am next morning. This works great and keeps the house from getting so hot.
Just use your own judgment as to when they are ready. they should be a dark red to brown in color, but still have a pull apart texture.

For your own tasting pleasure be sure to eat some right out of the oven. Pure heaven! I let them cool and then put in freezer bags for use in whatever you want that extra kick.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 4:10PM
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beckyishere(6 IL)

When I dry my cherry tomatoes I just slice in half, squish out the seeds, and sprinkle with salt pepper, oragano, and garlic salt. Super good snack, wonderful in dishes.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 7:08AM
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CindyLouWho(z4 VT)

Annie--I gave my Dad the first sungold too! When I used to live in Seattle, I would FedEx him a box of them and he would keep them on his desk and NOT share with anyone...

I use this recipe for Sungold's because there is virtually no prep. I just rinse them and dump them in the pot (don't even cut them):

2.5 cups sungolds
1 stick butter
3 Tbs celery finely chopped
3 Tbs onion finely chopped
3 Tbs carrots finely chopped
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar

Add all ingredients and simmer for 1 hour. Let cool slightly and blend to a creamy consistency (I use a stick blender right in the pot).

So easy and unbelievably good. It's actually so decadent that sometimes I halve the butter and use oil instead, but it's not nearly as good.

It freezes really well and I use it for everything--pasta sauce, pizza sauce, dip for veggies, etc. Sometimes, we even eat it as a "cream" soup.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 9:42AM
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I was just reading everyones uses for the abundance of tomatoes and was just wondering about the recipe for Sun Gold pasta sauce that worth1 posted this sounds wonderful.
Would you mind shareing that.
Thank you

    Bookmark   July 21, 2006 at 8:13AM
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I am SOOOO thrilled to have found this thread... I have cherry toms coming out my ears!!!
Has anyone tried to make spag. sauce out of just cherry? I read somewhere that you could just pop them whole into a food processor with green peppers and herbs and not worry about skins and seeds???

Zabby - That is a really great idea! I don't have a dehydrator....How do you do them in the oven? what temp and how long? Have you done this with Roma or do they not dry out as well?


    Bookmark   August 19, 2008 at 5:22PM
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Thank you all so much for the wonderful recipes. I don't know which recipe to do first. I have 8 Sweet 100 cherry tomatoe plants. I love harvesting and giving them away. I also have Loads of Zucchini, hot banannas, jalapinos, a couple green bells, Super chili, habaneros, and some big tomatoe plants that arn't producing the most tomatoes. If anyone has any great recipes using these veges, please send them to me. I am constantly doing stir frys. Ummm! I need squash recipes and maybe some help canning the Cherry's. Please e-mail me at Melineke@yahoo.com, my email has changed and I can't figure out how to change it on this site yet. Thank you. Lynette

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 5:45PM
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Hi guys! I just found this forum and LOVE IT!! I am getting tons of Cherry Tomatoes, Yellow Pear and Sweet 100's. My question is when you are dehydrating do you take the skins off first. I want to try the marinade one recipe but I am unsure on the skin part? Can anyone help.
ps. Made my 1st batch of Annies Salsa yesterday and needless to say hubby and I ate a whole pint in a half hour. YUM-O!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2009 at 11:11AM
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Thanks every one. These recipes look great. I have two sungolds and two black cherry's. Im going to use a dehydrator for drying these. I was wondering how long to plan on drying them. Thanks, Ginny

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 8:48PM
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I grew sausage tomatoes this year. I'll never go back to cherry tomatoes. I am just finishing up making Annie's Salsa with nothing but little sausage tomatoes. They are like the best of romas and cherry tomatoes rolled in one. They don't explode when you bite into them, they are meaty with small cavities and have a delicious taste. They came on super early too and I used them for salad tomatoes until the main crop started coming on for canning and slicing. Quite prolific.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 9:51PM
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Calliope, those sound great. Where did you buy them and did you plant by seed?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 8:09AM
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These are the little gems and as you can see, they are small, oblong and can be pointed at one end. I do not know the variety as they came from a line of 'saved' seed from a gardening friend. They did breed true, and I intend on saving some seed for next year from the one plant I installed just to see what came off it. LOL. I planted four dozen tomato plants, and this one came on first, and has born so heavily I have used it for salads until the main crop came on and have them out my ears. The vine is huge and looks to be indeterminate. I decided they'd look cute in salsas and used them entirely for the batch of Annie's Salsa I made last night. The sauce (since this is paste type) was very thick and rich, and good.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 7:08PM
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Sounds very good. I dont need to know the time for dehydrating. I finished the first batch and it took 10 hrs.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 9:20PM
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This is the first season that I've had luck with my cherry tomatoes - and they are overwhelming me. Two plants are the traditional round tomatoes; the other look like mini roma tomatoes. Any suggestions/ideas out there for saving them - lots of suggestions - freezing or making a sauce. Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 5:58AM
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Loved reading this thread! I was hoping to try drying some tomatoes this year and this really helped.


    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 7:12AM
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