The tomato vines I planted in autumn are coming to the end of their run (as you can see) and I'll soon be planting different varieties that do better in the warmer months. In Queensland, tomatoes grow best in winter. In summer, they suffer if it's too hot or if we get heavy rain, but what's a salad without tomato, so I still try to grow some over summer as well.
The larger varieties have virtually finished fruiting at moment but the Romas, and cherry & grape tomatoes are still well laden. To use up the last of them I make a simple "allpurpose" tomato sauce which can be frozen and used with a variety of dishes.
Tomato Sauce - Pasta Sauce or Coulis
1 kg tomatoes (roughly chopped)
3 shallots (finely chopped
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
a few sprigs of thyme
1/4 cup each chopped basil & oregano leaves
1 1/2 tabs olive oil
Heat olive oil in pan and add chopped shallots and garlic. Saute until soft. Add the tomatoes and herbs. Stir well. Cover and simmer for around 20 mins (until thick). For a tomato sauce to serve with pasta, add some fresh chopped herbs just before serving. To make a coulis or sauce to serve with a meat and vegetable pie, puree in a blender and press through a fine sieve. Both can be frozen and keep for months. It can be used in many recipes instead of canned crushed tomatoes or tomatoe puree.
Another favourite is this yummy tart - makes a great weekend lunch.
Tomato and Black Olive Tart
6-8 Roma tomatoes (firm) - sliced
75g/3oz Brie cheese - cubed
approx 16 pitted black olives - sliced
3 eggs (beaten)
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tabs chopped fresh herbs (I use basil, rosemary and oregano)
Short Pastry (frozen sheet or your favourite recipe)
Preheat oven to 190 degrees C/375 degrees F. Line a recangulat flan tin or shallow quiche pan with the pastry. Bake for 15-20 mins (until base is crisp and lightly browned). Once the base has cooled slightly, arrange the tomatoes, cheese and olives in the flan case. Mix together the eggs, milk and herbs. Pour the egg mixture into the case. Bake for about 40 minutes until just firm and turning golden.
The tart can be served immediately or warmed up the next day. It doesn't freeze and thaw all that well.