If you have a garden that contains grape or cherry tomatoes, you might be in the same situation we’ve been in for most of the summer: we have a ton of grape and cherry tomatoes! We really have more than we can personally use, especially when you consider that I’m actually the only person in our house that will eat raw tomatoes.
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If you’ve had a bumper crop of grape and/or cherry tomatoes, here are some thoughts for using your precious tiny produce:
1. Add them to salads. Okay, so I may use some pretty obvious ideas here at the beginning of this list. Garden fresh grape and cherry tomatoes are a wonderful addition to all types of salads.
2. Use them as snacks. Again, obviously. “What’s that you say, Angie? We can eat them as is? Yeah, thanks for putting that on a list, Captain Obvious.” Still, it’s a way that a lot of the ones around here get eaten, so it’s on the list. My favorite time to snack on them is right out of the garden when they are still warm from the sunshine. It’s like a bite of summer.
3. Add to taco salads or rice bowls. Not only do these save me from having to cut up a larger tomato, but it also provides a juicy pop to bites of taco salads and rice bowls.
4. Roast the grape and cherry tomatoes. Slice them in half, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast them in the oven. You can add these roasted goodies to freshly cooked pasta or to the top of some warm, crusty French bread. Here is a recipe for roasting grape tomatoes.
5. Sautee them. Use some herbs (of your choice, like basil, perhaps) and olive oil to sautee these grape and cherry tomatoes that you have halved first. You could make this recipe for easy garden tomato sauce.
6. Give them away. I’m not just talking about the obvious like giving them to some neighbors. I’m talking about very intentionally doing everything you can to get rid of them. Somebody stop by your house to drop something off? Offer them grape tomatoes. Neighbor kids think it’s fun to learn how to pick tomatoes, make them take all those cherry tomatoes home that they picked. Don’t let anyone leave your house without at least a small baggie.
Okay, in all seriousness – I do offer these a lot because we have so many. And, I really did make the neighbor kids take a ton home after they helped my kids pick them, but only after we asked if their family wanted some tomatoes. It also helps our stock that my parents don’t garden but love the tomatoes and some people at Eric’s work love to receive them as well.
7. Freeze the grape and cherry tomatoes. You won’t be able to thaw them and eat them raw, or at least I wouldn’t suggest it. But they should still be able to be added to things like soups. (No promises on this one though. I’ve never tried it.)
8. Add them to sandwiches. Yeah, I know, it’s a lot more convenient to just slice into a large tomato. Plus, those big slices don’t try to fall out of your sandwich quite so much. But, if you have a ton of grape or cherry tomatoes, I would suggest finding the largest ones and slicing them to use on sandwiches.
9. Make tomato sauce. If you have the patience to remove the skins and seeds on these little tomatoes, you can use them for tomato sauce. I did read about people who just pulverized these whole in a blender or food processor and just used them seeds, skins, and all in the sauce. So, that’s an option to try out too.
10. Use the grape and cherry tomatoes to make salsa. Here’s a quick recipe for salsa using grape tomatoes.