Tomatoes are an important source of flavour, nutrients and inspiration, and Greeks use this product perhaps more than any other when cooking, giving us an inexhaustible number of recipes.
Summer, when market stalls are full of juicy tomatoes, is an opportunity to take advantage of this abundance and store them for the winter as sauce, pickles and sun-dried.
In order to have the deliciousness of the tomato and in the winter months and not to resort to standard solutions for our dishes, we can store them in various forms.
Tomato on the grater: We grate the tomatoes, or peel them and puree them in the blender. Then, we divide the juice into small nylon bags, or small tapers, and freeze them. When we need the juice, we thaw it and add it to the food.
Simple tomato sauce: Grate the tomatoes or peel them and puree them in the blender. Then, boil the tomato with olive oil and salt. If we want a more aromatic result, add onion and herbs, and simmer until the liquids of the sauce evaporate. Let it cool and divide it into bags or tapers and place them in the freezer.
Peltes: In the tomato peltes we use only salt, a little sugar for acidity and boil for about an hour, until the peltes sets well. We store it in glass jars that we have sterilised and close airtight.
Sun-dried tomatoes: For sun-dried tomatoes, choose oblong, cherry-shaped tomatoes, or small red tomatoes such as pomontoro. Cut the tomatoes in half, put them in a pan with the skin down and sprinkle with plenty of salt. Cover the pan with tulpan or cheesecloth and leave them in the sun for a few days, usually 3 to 4, until their liquid evaporates, but they don’t become too hard.
It is better to put them indoors at night so that they do not absorb moisture. When they are ready, we put them in a jar with sunflower oil, to which we can also add herbs, such as oregano or garlic.
Here are other ways to enjoy tomatoes:
We make sun-dried tomatoes in the oven from pomontories!
Pomontoria (or golden apples) are firm, egg-shaped tomatoes that have little juice and thick skin, and are baked in the kitchen oven.
Spicy soup with roasted tomatoes and peppers
Tomato with thyme and capers
A wonderful, aromatic sauce, made from Santorinian pulp, produced from the arid tomato crops on the Cycladic island and yielding excellent quality raw material.
Delicious tomato smoothies
Who said tomato can’t be the main ingredient in a savory or sweet smoothie? The recipes you will find here prove it in the coolest and most delicious way.
Athina Ferentinou is a regular writer for Olive Magazine.