Every year we pick so many cherry tomatoes that we end up spending hours searching the internet for various ways to use them.
This year we were determined that no produce harvested from the garden would go bad before we could eat or give them away. Although the zucchini plants forced us to try out a variety of new recipes earlier in the year, the cherry tomato plant is really challenging our creativity.
It seems that the two cherry tomato plants that we planted this year are over-achievers. It is hard to believe that we collect over 8 cups of those little beauties on a daily basis.
Of course, we eat a handful of fresh picked cherry tomatoes every time that we enter the garden, but we are now inundated with them.
So, this week we thought we would share some of our favorite ways to use up all of those cherry tomatoes, just in case you are having the same ‘problem’ as us.
5 Great Ways To Use Cherry Tomatoes
1. Freeze Them Whole
Freezing those cherry tomatoes that are overflowing in your garden is a great way to preserve them.
Just wash, pull off the stem, and flash freeze them on a baking sheet. Once they are frozen, place them in a freezer safe bag, making sure the squeeze as much air out of the bags as possible. We prefer to seal them in a Food Saver bag for longer storage life.
When you are ready to use them just pull them out of the freezer and add them to your recipe. Because the cherry tomatoes will be softer than if you were using fresh tomatoes it is best to use them in recipes for soups, sauces and casseroles.
2. Roast Them
Although you don’t have to cut them in half, we find that they roast quicker and taste better when you do.
Cutting cherry tomatoes is easy when you place several on a cutting board and place the bottom of a plate on top to hold them steady while you cut them in half with a serrated knife.
Lay your cherry tomatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet, cut side up. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and add a pinch of salt and desired seasonings over the top of your tomatoes. Roast, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for approximately 20-30 minutes.
Serve on top of your favorite dish, or cool and freeze for later use.
3. Quick and Easy 5 Ingredient Tomato Sauce
Heat 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet. Add 4 cloves of thinly sliced garlic and heat until fragrant and softened (about 2 minutes).
Add 4 cups of cherry tomatoes to the pan and cook. As they begin to burst, continue to smash them down while you stir. Continue to cook and smash until the desired consistency has been reached.
Add in 1 cup of chopped basil and ground black pepper to taste.
Serve over pasta or freeze for later use.
4. “Sun Dried” Tomatoes
Sun dried tomatoes are one of the best ways to preserve your cherry tomatoes for later use. If you live in a dry, sunny area, place halved cherry tomatoes on baking sheets in the sun and let them dry out naturally.
For those don’t live in this type of climate, you can dry your tomatoes by either using your oven or a dehydrator. We use a Cuisinart Food Dehydrator in our kitchen.
Wash your tomatoes and cut them in half and place them into a bowl. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and spices and gently toss.
Place tomatoes cut side up onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and cook at 200 degrees F for 4-8 hours.
If using a dehydrator, set temperature to 140 degrees and process until the tomatoes are dry (4-8 hours).
Store in an airtight container in the freezer or a cool dry place.
5. Tomato Juice
If you have an abundance of cherry tomatoes on hand, why not turn them into tomato juice?
Wash your tomatoes and put them in a large stockpot. Cook them down until heated through. No need to add extra liquid, as the cherry tomatoes will begin to break down and produce their own liquid.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Put through a tomato strainer and return the liquid to the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes. Cool and freeze or process for canning. See How to Can Tomato Juice.