Cherry tomatoes are a popular choice for cooking and growing, but they are often eaten raw without much preparation. What if there was a way to better storage potential while also creating a great-tasting snack or condiment. Read on to find out how to use cherry tomatoes for an intriguing addition to any meal.
Cherry tomatoes are a delicious and colorful ingredient to add to any salad, burger, or any other snack you wish to prepare for yourself or other party members or guests. They are, however, very perishable, but there are ways to ensure that your tomatoes stay fresher for longer. Here are just a few helpful tips that can improve the lifespan of your produce.
What is Cherry Tomatoes?
Cherry tomatoes are a small variety of tomatoes that produce a sweet-tasting flavor. They are much smaller than traditional tomatoes but still grow on vines. Their red coloring helps to enhance the color of a green salad. Much like bell peppers, they are a contrasting color that draws attention.
1. Do Away with The Vines
One of the most prone areas to damage and degradation is where the stalk meets the fruit. By disconnecting the tomato from the vine and then turning the tomato upside down to protect the opening, you reduce the chance of reduced size, increasing the longevity of the tomato’s full size. This is a simple and low-cost solution to the problem but does admittedly demand more storage space due to not stack the tomatoes for increased effect.
Ensure that the stems are as flat to the protective bottom as possible. More coverage means that bacteria will have a harder time getting into the fruit, resulting in degradation. If you are short on space, try placing a divider surface (wipe down beforehand) and place gently between surfaces of cherry tomatoes.
There is a common online debate into whether you should ultimately store your tomatoes in the fridge or allow them to be placed onto the counter for better preservation. Read on to weigh the pros and cons.
2. Put Them in The Fridge
Although you sacrifice some flavors by placing cherry tomatoes into the fridge, you slow down ripening within the fruit. This will prevent your tomatoes from turning green. Although this does not stop the process (the tomato will ripen over time regardless), it will increase when they are at their best.
If you believe in flavor over preserving the storage of the fruit, completing this step may result in a reduced flavor value of the tomatoes placed inside the cooler environment. The cold fridge causes the inner juices to freeze slightly, which affects the taste of the fruit. For an objectively better tasting and natural tasting tomato, placing your tomatoes at room temperature will be a better option. Be aware that this will have a side effect of reduced shelf life.
You could gain additional lifespan from reducing the temperature even further. Why not try placing them into the freezer for greater effect? Read on to find out how to utilize an essential piece of equipment found in every kitchen.
3. Freeze Them!
Freezing cherry tomatoes will have an increased effect on the fridge but comes at the cost of letting them defrost before using them and could damage the tomato skin when they freeze. When a liquid freezes, it expands, and when this happens to your tomatoes. The same will happen to the juice, which could result in slightly stretched or damaged skin!
To freeze your tomatoes, remove the stalk from the fruit and place it in a freezer. You may use a freezer bag if you prefer or a container to keep your tomatoes safe and together. Refer to our first suggestion and place them into the container with the stalk downwards to keep their size.
For some more unusual storage options, read below for tips on storing your tomatoes for a much longer period of time while also creating some interesting experimental flavors.
4. Pickling Cherry Tomatoes
I am sure you have heard of products and concepts such as pickled onions and eggs; well, you can do the same to cherry tomatoes! Pickling will greatly enhance the longevity of the shelf life of cherry tomatoes but will also heavily affect the taste of the fruit.
By placing the fruit in vinegar, you will be able to start the pickling process. This will take an extended period of time, so only use this if you are not planning to use the tomatoes for a while. Refer to other pickled foods so that you can gauge how much the taste could be affected.
Adding the jar to an area where it can be displayed could add some extra spruce to your kitchen. The jar can enhance your kitchen and invite guests to become intrigued by your food choices. Combine with other fruit and veg to create a tasteful display of color, try to use a shelf perpendicular to windows to avoid damage from the sun.
Pickled cherry tomatoes are a great change-up to traditional tomatoes. Adding them to a salad will make you stand out as a more experimental food enthusiast. Be prepared for a new yet great-tasting alternative that you will love. Place the jar in the fridge and wait until the pickling process has been completed, and then enjoy at your leisure.
Did you know you can use liquids other than vinegar to pickle your food? They don’t even need to be raw! Read on to discover more about pickling with a twist.
5. Olive Oil
If you are a lover of roasting your tomatoes, one food enthusiast suggests adding them to olive oil rather than traditional vinegar to pickle your tomatoes. This will allow the tomatoes to become infused with the flavor of the olive oil while also maintaining the effect of the roasting. This makes for a delicious blend that can be retrieved from the jar at any moment to add to recipes of your choice.
Unlike vinegar, olive oil is much denser than a liquid but is also sweeter. The yellow color looks interesting when placed on the self and helps to keep the ingredients together, allowing for greater flavor dispersal. When you are using olive oil, you should place it in the fridge and then monitor it. After a few days, if the olive oil has not solidified, reduce the temperature and try again.
Why not add some additional tomato varieties such as sun-dried tomatoes to add a more densely tasting flavor that you can add to salads or pasta to create a blend that will allow your sauce to burst with additional flavor! Other ingredients such as garlic and rosemary can help to adjust the flavor, experiment with different combinations to your personal preferences.
I am sure you have heard of the great-tasting tomato sauce and all of its verities. Why not make your own and increase the shelf life of your tomatoes at the same time!
6. Tomato Sauce
One of the most popular concepts of the modern age of cooking, tomato sauce, has been bottled and sold in shops for decades, but have you ever tried to make your own and put a spin on the commercial success which is tomato sauce (or ketchup as it has come to be known in common tongues). Here is how to make it, along with some ideas as to how to bring out the true flavor of your tomatoes.
Nigel Slater suggests that making homemade tomato sauce is becoming a trend and suggests turning your tomatoes into a great tasting sauce for you to enjoy with many different recipes. By adding herbs, spices, and other ingredients, you can make a personalized sauce that can change the face of homemade cooking feats.
The technique is simple. Chop the tomatoes in half, place them into a roasting tin along with some sugar, olive oil, and herbs and then cook for 3 hours at 120 degrees. When finished, place into jars for later use. Add the sauce to chips, burgers, or another popular recipe to change the flavor that will transform your meal.
Try it Yourself
I hope you have found this article useful and can create some truly amazing experimental and concept recipes. Remember that you can put your own personal twist on our suggestions to do your own cooking and adapt to your own tastes. Why not let us know of your creations and share your recipe with the world.
These simple yet effective concepts can change your perspective on tomatoes in everyday cooking, and I hope you can create a meal that you will love. There are also some great alternatives to our ideas, such as drying or canning to enhance shelf life. They all produce their own characteristics and flavors, so make sure you experiment with our ideas.
For more great ways to use or cook food, make sure to check out our website for more great ideas you can adapt and use within your own cooking. There are thousands of different combinations you can try at your own pleasure.