Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Miniature Tomatoes

My success with growing tomatoes has not been anything to brag about so far. I've tried heirloom seeds, locally purchased seeds, and regular hardware store packet seeds. I generally get nice looking plants, until they're about 18" high or so, and then things go downhill. I've gotten some tomatoes, but not enough to make up for the time and materials spent thus far.

However, we have a volunteer tomato plant growing in the garden right now, which is producing hundreds of tomatoes. I think this may be a naturally growing local plant, as we occasionally find these plants growing wild around the property. The catch is that these are teensy tiny, miniature tomatoes. I've neglected and abused this plant, the hornworms have taken a shot at it, it's the dry season and I don't make a point of watering it - but nothing seems to even slow it down. Boo brings in a bit more than a quart container of tomatoes from this one plant every day.

These tiny tomatoes taste like regular tomatoes, except that the proportion of skin to "insides" is high, and obviously skinning these tomatoes would be a ridiculous endeavor, so they're not great for cooking or sauces.

They're my one tomato-growing success, however, so I just thought I'd share that with you!


Randall and Rachel Beita said...

Yummy!! I don´t know if you can get pasta but that looks like it would make a great pasta salad with cucumber and oil and vinegar dressing!!

Denise said...

Oh Trish, you are wrong about them not being great for cooking . . . We love eating cherry and grape tomoates fresh - yum! But they are also great for quick cook dishes. I put them in a glass bowl, cover and microwave until they POP. Then chop them up a bit more, add seasonings (thyme, basil, oregano) and some minced garlic and/or onion and cook a few more minutes on lower power. Then toss with cooked pasta and sprinkle with cheeses. You can also add cooked chicken, hamburg, or cooked beans. (Hint: I cook penne pasta in chicken broth for this dish.) Enjoy!

Trish said...

Oh, Rachel, that does sound good!

Denise - since you say so, I'm putting the extra tomatoes in the freezer for cooking use. The microwave tip is helpful, as cutting all of these teensy tomatoes in half to use in the bean soup was tedious! Thanks for the info!

Missus Wookie said...

Lovely looking tomatoes. I too cook with cherry/grape tomatoes. When I make sauces with them I puree mine and then serve but the final step I always skip is to push through a metal sieve - which will remove the skins.

Mash the pulp/skins with a wooden spoon and that will force the insides through leaving the skins behind.

Live Simply Love Strongly said...

Hurry! It doesn't surprise me at all that the wild variety was the biggest success. I hate the volunteer plants that come up in my garden (all cherry tomatoes or yellow pear) because if you let them, they will take over. Those are no doubt the best adapted to your conditions there. The easiest way I have found to skin a tomato is to freeze it and then leave in a bowl of hot water til the skin peels off and the rest is still solid. I do this with romas from my garden to be able to make sauce for pupusas after garden season is gone. It's worth a try with a few although would still be time consuming with a large quantity. My mil sometimes fries them up with garlic and seasonings in a pan. I'm sure that would be good over pasta.