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The All Singing All Dancing Preserve


I have tomato plant is just outside my kitchen door. This is not so much for the fruit as for the wonderful waft from the foliage that hits me every time I saunter out.

No matter that I only have a few green tomatoes on my plant, this year!


Yes, indeed it is a fruit – seeds and all – we know that.

However in 1893  in the USA, the Supreme Court ruled that it was a vegetable. Apparently the court essentially gave that reasoning in Nix v. Hedden: A tomato is a vegetable because people think it is.

Now how sensible is that.

Well, fruit or vegetable, US or rest of the world here are my green tomatoes


Just now the markets are piled high with tomatoes and mostly of the RED variety.


They are full of vitamin C when eaten raw and stuffed with lycopene when eaten cooked. Reports also suggest that tomatoes reduce cholesterol and may reduce the risk of cancer.

What is clear is that they are a particularly bright and jolly fruit and  taste good when eaten raw, added in cooking or preserved.

This year, my plan with the seasonal glut of tomatoes is to preserve tomatoes three ways

  sun dried tomatoes…simple or combination chutney…plenty of tomato sauce


The batch of sun dried tomatoes that I made last autumn and stored in the freezer lasted until last month and were a great success and enjoyed mixed into a savoury butter, in my homemade ciabatta bread, in salads and with meats and cheese in sandwiches and wraps. See links.

Sun dried tomatoes   Sun dried tomato butter


This September, I have chosen a combined tomato chutney but please check out Beryl’s huge list of possible tomato chutneys. Some plain and also  some combined with a choice of adding oranges, apples, ginger and horseradish.


1.8 kg (4lb) ripe tomatoes, 450g (1lb) marrow (when prepared), 450g (1lb) onions, 340g (3/4 lb) sugar, 285ml (1/2 pint) vinegar, 1tp mixed spice, 14g (1/2oz) salt, pinch cayenne.

Blanch, peel and quarter tomatoes; cut peeled and seeded marrow into cubes; rough chop onions; put all together in a pan with half the vinegar, salt, mixed spice and cayenne and cook gently till tender; add remaining vinegar and sugar, stirring till dissolved, then simmer till thick.



Beryl’s recipe for tomato sauce is a wonderful mainstay and it is quick (2 hours max and included an hour  to chop and start my sundried toamatoes) and easy to prepare.

680g (1  1/2 lb) ripe tomatoes, 113g (1/4 lb) onions, 284ml (1/2 pint) vinegar, 56g (2oz) sugar,2tsp salt 1tsp dry mustard, pinch cayenne, 4 cloves, and blade of mace ( both in muslin bag)

Slice tomatoes, chop onions, and put in pan with other ingredients; simmer gently 1hour; put through liquidizer and/or sieve, return to pan, simmer to thickness required, stirring frequently; put in china bowl and when quite cold, put into screw-top bottles.


Spread on a pizza base

Tossed through pasta

A dollop with breadcrumb and pancetta for stuffing peppers, mushrooms, aubergines

Mixed with green or butter beans

Layer in fish or vegetable lasagne

Meatballs of course!

With cooked or left over vegetables plus stock to make a delicious stew or soup

Cocktail sauce mixed with mayo to serve with prawns

I choose to keep a quantity of this sauce for immediate use in the fridge and store the remainder in bags in the freezer.


The bright and jolly tomato



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