Well, what a surprise I had yesterday when I went out to pick raspberries. A tiny baby fawn was curled up in the middle of the elderberry patch next to the raspberry rows.
Now like with many of you, deer are more than a nuisance. I have a feeling it was the babe’s relatives who nipped the ripe raspberries from the stems and chomped down a row of sunflowers the night before. A frustrating sight. But that little creature looked up at me so trustingly….I didn’t have the heart to shoo it away to the field.
One plant they’re leaving alone (so far) are the tomatoes.
My Rapunzel cherry and grape tomatoes are ripening nicely so I picked some to make this pretty and yummy side dish.
I call it a relish, though technically it’s not, since relishes are usually made with minced vegetables. I served it alongside grilled chicken, though it can stand alone as a salad.
Tomato shallot “relish”
Red onion can be substituted for the shallot. A little goes a long way. Dress it up by putting relish in a radicchio leaf.
2 cups or so tomatoes, cut up (about 1-1/2 pounds)
1 shallot, diced small or thinly sliced (you may not need it all – go to taste)
Handful chopped basil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar or more to taste
3/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Toss tomatoes, shallot and basil together. Whisk vinegar and oil together. Pour over tomatoes, mix and season.
Tip: 2 ways to preserve cherry/grape tomatoes
Freeze raw or roasted, depending upon how you want to use them.
Wash tomatoes and dry well. If they have a lot of moisture on the skins, they’ll accumulate frost.
Place in single layer on cookie sheet. Don’t let them touch each other so that after they’re frozen, they won’t stick together.
Freeze hard, uncovered, then transfer to containers.
Roast before freezing:
After washing and drying, place in single layer on cookie sheets.
Drizzle with olive oil. Add a sprinkling of garlic and/or herbs, or roast plain.
Roast at 400 degrees until they wrinkle a bit, about 10 minutes or so.
Cool and transfer to containers.
How to use:
Now you can’t use frozen tomatoes fresh, since they lose texture and shape when thawed.
Skin on or off?
I use the frozen tomatoes with the skin on, but if you want to remove skins prior to cooking, put tomatoes in a colander, run a bit of warm water over and you should be able to remove skins. (This works with larger frozen tomatoes, too).
Perfect for soups, sauces and other cooked dishes. I use them just like canned tomatoes.
Frozen cherry tomatoes last up to a year but are best used within 6 months.