Tomatoes – Summer’s Bounty

This season tomatoes have grown wonderfully well- the La Nina weather pattern has certainly suited them this year!

I grew several new varieties of heirlooms this year and am particularly impressed with one called Hungarian Heart.

Hungarian Heart

I have known of this one for a while but was only able to find seed last year. It is always at the top of the world taste tests for heirlooms and I am delighted with it- large, meaty and full of flavour and definitely heart shaped!  It is good for everything and I will continue to promote this variety.

This is the first year that I have been able to use my raised bed gardens for spring/summer production and I am amazed at the amount of produce they are providing as well as lots of heirloom flowers and herbs.

So far I have picked at least 40 kilos off my tomatoes and there are still more to come- they were under planted with basil and French marigolds which has proved once again that companion planting is well worth while.

Sweet peppers have also done well- I believe in planting the elongated and smaller fruited types as they produce lots more fruit than the traditional block types. I have hundreds of rainbow coloured fruits greeting me when I go out and they are all lovely to eat and make pickles etc, with, as well as looking spectacular!

The one that I particularly enjoy is called Pepperocini and has the wonderful flavour of sun dried tomatoes when the red fruit is fully ripe-I brought this variety in from overseas last year and am so glad I did!

Below is my recipe for Tomato Savoury, which is great for using wherever you need a savoury sauce: bolognaise, tacos, casseroles, pizza toppings etc. This uses both tomatoes and peppers and you just adjust the balance to suit what you have available.

I know from experience how great it is to use this in the middle of winter when our summer gardens are only a memory!

Tomato Savoury

2 large onions
3 stalks celery
3 peppers
¼ cup oil
1 tbsp each of dried basil, marjoram, celery seed, mustard seed. (or whatever).
2 tbsp common salt
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp ground black pepper
6 kilos ripe tomatoes

Thickening: 1 cup flour mixed with juice from mixture.

Cook onions, celery and peppers in oil for a few minutes, add rest of ingredients and cook until ready to bottle – add thickening about 20 minutes before bottling.

by Ginny Clayton

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