The seasoned gardener knows that tomato plants yield a lot of tomatoes. However, when planting a garden with some friends who have a large plot of land, we thought, “why not plant 48 tomato plants?” Needless to say, by the end of the summer we had already canned all of the marinara sauce and salsa we needed for the year and the tomatoes still kept on coming. Earlier that summer we had shared my fresh bruschetta with our friend to use on his artisan pizzas and fell in love with the results. So when I harvested my last half bushel box of tomatoes, I figured it was time to find another creative use for them. That’s when I remembered the bruschetta, so I did my research on developing canning recipes.
That summer, I ended up canning nearly 20 quarts of bruschetta and found many delicious, inventive ways of using it. One of my favorite ways is by simply serving it over a bed of whole grain pasta, some leafy greens, toasted nuts and crumbled cheese. It serves as a great substitute for marinara sauce and even as a delicious base for tomato bisque. Eventually, I plan to write a cookbook or e-cookbook about Easy Bruschetta Meals. Stay in touch for updates on that!
Since tomatoes are borderline acidic, it’s important to make sure you include enough salt and vinegar to aid in the preserving process. It’s also important to stay up on the USDA’s recommendations for processing times to ensure that all of the hard work you do to prepare your recipes is not in vain. In order to eliminate the risk of spoilage, it’s best to start with blemish-free produce and process quarts of bruschetta (with salt and vinegar in the recipe) in a water bath canner for 35 minutes.
During my demonstration on Tuesday, I shared my recipe for fresh and bruschetta, discussed the basics of canning tomatoes and shared a newly developed recipe for eggplant cannelloni to serve over a bed of pasta and topped with hot bruschetta for an easy weeknight bruschetta meals. I used Pennsylvania soil-grown tomatoes which are absolutely delicious this time of year. They’re grown directly in the soil under high tunnels to protect them from the elements and help them ripen sooner while still delivering that amazing homegrown taste a full month earlier than normal!
Below are the delicious recipes I enjoyed sharing during this week’s class. Click here for a printable version.
As the Marketing Coordinator for Wolff’s Apple House and owner of Rachel’s Farm Table blog, it was my privilege to start off the first cooking demo of the season. About 25 participants eagerly gathered to learn new recipes, enjoy free samples and have the opportunity to enter-to-win a free Quirky Mercado farmer’s market bag.