Tomato Frenzy

Hosted by

Heirloom Tomatoes

Brian Yarvin is the author of Too Many Tomatoes: Classic & Exotic Recipes from Around the World

Tomato Passata

10 lbs very ripe plum tomatoes cut in quarters
2 cups water
1 tsp salt

1. In a pot large enough to hold all the tomatoes, heat the water over medium heat, and bring to a simmer.

2. Mix in the tomatoes, and cook for about 15 minutes or until they start to soften and break down.  Reduce the heat to low, add the salt and keep cooking for about 2 hours or until the volume of liquid has reduced by one-third.  Remove the pot from the heat, and let it cool for at least 30 minutes.

3. Hold your food mill over a large, clean bowl.  Make sure the whole thing is solid; if it's not, you'll have a real mess on your hands.  Put a bit of the cooked tomatoes in the mill and start cranking.  Soon the soft pulp (along with a few well-cooked pies of skin) will start collecting in the bowl.  This is the passata-that is, the stuff that's passed through the mill.

4. When you've run all the tomatoes through, it's time to put them up.  I prefer freezing in small quantities.  Place 1 cup of passata in a heavy duty freezer bag, press all the air out, zip it shut, and label it clearly with  both the contents and the date you prepared it.  They will keep for at least 3 months.

Roasted Tomatoes with Twelve Flavors
Serves 4

1 Tablespoon butter plus extra for baking dish
1/2 cup chopped fresh pear
1/2 cup chopped fresh apple
1/2 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup shelled pistachios
1/4 cup raisins
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp lemon zest
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cloves
1/2 cup sugar
4 medium tomatoes

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Heat the butter, pear, apple, pineapple, orange juice, walnuts, almonds, pistachios, raisins, orange zest, lemon zest, mint, vanilla extract, cloves, and sugar in a saucepan over medium low heat.  Cook, stirring, until all the fruits are tender and a syrup has formed, about 20 minutes.  Keep warm until you're ready for step 4.

3. Make sure your tomatoes can stand up on their own.  If they can't, slice a bit off the bottom.  Now use a melon baller or grapefruit spoon to hollow out the insides.  Place the hollowed-out tomatoes on a buttered baking dish.

4. Stuff the hollowed-out tomatoes with the fruit mixture.  Pour any remaining liquid over the tomatoes.

5. Bake until all the fruit is cooked through, about 40 minutes.  Serve warm.