Thursday, September 15, 2011

ways with cherry tomatoes - orzo salad, cherry tomato chutney

For lunches this week I made orzo pasta with cherry tomatoes - an easy, tasty pasta salad. Orzo pasta looks like rice, and makes a really nice pasta salad because it's a bit more delicate than some pastas.

1 c dry orzo
1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
10-20 kalamata olives, halved and without pits
handful herbs, chopped (basil, thyme, lemon thyme and mint all work well)
feta or mozzarella cheese
3 T lemon juice
3 T olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook the orzo in water; drain. Run under cold water. Mix with tomatoes, herbs, olives, and cheese. Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper; toss with pasta. This salad keeps well; you might have to add a little more oil and lemon juice if the pasta absorbs too much of the liquid.

If you're finding it hard to use up the abundance of cherry tomatoes (if you get both the fruit and veggie boxes), here's another recipe I used last year - though I haven't had time yet to make it this year.

This recipe grew out of desperation: we were getting about two or three pints of cherry tomatoes in our CSA share along with regular tomatoes – not to mention the tomatoes we ourselves had planted! My kitchen was overrun with tomatoes, and I started a hunt for something to turn cherry tomatoes into. All the recipes I could find, however, were for cherry tomato chutney or salsa you could keep in the fridge a couple of days – nothing you could preserve. So I invented this. Leave the skins on, by the way – have you ever tried to peel cherry tomatoes?!

Cherry tomato chutney

1 onion, chopped

2 quarts cherry tomatoes, halved

5-7 apples, peeled and chopped

2 cups raisins

1 ½ cups white vinegar

2 cups brown sugar

½ jalapeno pepper, diced finely

2 T ground ginger

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground cloves

½ tsp ground nutmeg

3 T lemon juice

Cook onion in a little oil in a large pot until soft. Add apples and tomatoes; cook 2-3 minutes on medium until the tomatoes are starting to lose their shape. Add the raisins, vinegar, sugar, pepper, and spices. Cook on low for about an hour or until thick. Add lemon juice. Ladle into sterilized mason jars, stir to release bubbles, and put on lids (don’t overtighten). Boil in a canner for 30 minutes.


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