Red Things

And a bit of green..

Although I eat lots of tomatoes, I realised this week I was losing the race: the three Romello cherry tomato plants had several hundred ripe red fruit on them. I couldn’t eat them quickly enough, but left unpicked they would either split, fall off, go manky or succumb to blight.

Part of today’s haul of 8 kilos of cherry tomatoes

With a vague idea of roasting them, I picked and weighed out a total of 8 kilos (four pounds), which with small tomatoes like this variety is quite a few. A few neighbouring Roma, which are much larger, made it into the mix as well.

After de-stalking and washing, they went into a number of roasting dishes along with freshly picked oregano, chopped garlic that I lifted a few weeks ago and some salt, pepper and nut oil.

Before: Sliced, herbed, garlicked and ready for the oven
After: roasted for an hour

An hour at 160c / 320f and they were nicely cooked. There was a little excess water to be spooned off but otherwise everything was tipped into the MagiMix.

Roasted tomato passata, just mixed

Several bags of this delicious passata are now in the freezer, minus a few spoonfuls consumed for research purposes 🙂 and some of the excess liquid went through a sieve, to leave this silky tomato sauce, which is ready in the fridge for pouring onto well just about anything.

Filtered silky tomato sauce

All this shouldn’t leave me short of daily tomato rations though: as well as lots of Roma cooking tomatoes which aren’t ripe yet, there are six Tomatoberry plants which, being indeterminates, aren’t all ripe at the same time, so I can pick them daily as they turn fully red.

Tomatoberry plants: at varying stages of ripeness

Meanwhile, I also picked some good peppers today. Firstly these big red Padrons, a variety which is often served as a Spanish tapa and always green. But this variety surprised me by being red and I expect will be hotter than the usual green.

Unusual red Padron peppers

Next to them in the growhouses is an Apache chilli plant. These weigh in at up to 75,000 Scovilles when fully ripe (and red) so are hot stuff. I deliberately picked a few when green today with a view to putting them whole in an oily fried curry: hot but not impossibly so.

Young Apache chillis

Still at the green end of the spectrum, the cucumber plants are having a final flourish. There are three plants in this large pot and, again through not being able to eat them as soon as they’re ripening, a couple of them have large cukes which are yellowing. But this one is putting out perfect dark green and slim cucumbers. I’ll concentrate on eating those now.

Young Merlin cucumbers

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