We volunteer at a local “community garden” that helps provide fresh produce to one of the local food banks in our county. One of the added benefits of our service is that we get to take home a portion of the harvest as well. To be honest, neither of these reasons were my true driving intention when I joined the garden. I am passionate about serving my community and feeding those in need. Yes, I love that we get some “free” (paid for in sweat equity) produce. Honestly, though, I do not have a “green thumb” and I really, really, really want one!
In my mind, joining a community garden was one of the easiest & best ways in which I could learn about gardening … and hopefully not screw up the whole thing in the process! My chances of actually having enough contact with any one plant enough to kill it were slim. And so far, so good. I can faithfully say that anything that has died has not directly been my fault. Wahoo!! Granted, I have
encouraged forced Husband to go in my place at least half of the weeks. He’s a natural. In fact, I’m pretty sure that his largest digit is identical to the Wicked Witch of the West’s.
Last week, said-Husband came home from the garden with 20 POUNDS of tomatoes. Yes, 20 lbs. That might not seem like a lot to those of you who grow your own in your backyard, but it was a good 4x the amount I was expecting him to bring home, so I panicked for a moment. “How are we ever going to use all of those?!” (I may have raised my voice a touch … just a touch). Hours of Pinterest searching, friend scrutinizing, and google-ing later, I’m happy to say that we’ve consumed at least half of the large tomatoes, have marinated the majority of the small ones, and I have plans for the rest!
One of my favorite foods on this planet is Bruschetta. If you’ve never had it, you are in for an amazing treat! It’s pretty much garlic, tomatoes, basil, & olive oil on top of toasted bread. There are loads of ways that people will spruce it up – including with cheese (parmesan or mozzarella), additional herbs, balsamic vinegar, etc. Any way you serve it, it is yuh-mmy … and usually very messy. Which, if you browse the other recipes on this blog, you’ll quickly realize is one of the basic necessities to any of my favorite dishes!
All of that to say, I made Marinated Tomatoes this week!! The assorted small tomatoes (grape, cherry, etc) that Chris got from the garden were perfect for this. Plus, a really awesome friend brought me a basil plant yesterday, which I quickly put to good use in this recipe.
I whipped up the marinade, added the tomatoes, & put it all into a few sterilized jars. If this part stresses you out, do not worry!!! This was my first time faux-canning (also known as refrigerator canning) & it was super easy. I boiled my jars & lids for 5 mins & then added the tomatoes with marinade equally into each jar. Put the lid on & stuck them in the fridge. All of my jars self-sealed within an hour. They should keep for at least a week or two in the fridge, though I doubt they’ll last that long!