Glut-Busting14th September 2017 • Stephanie's Blog • Stephanie Donaldson
There are only so many tomatoes that can be eaten fresh when the plants are at peak production, so I have been oven-roasting (slowly) the cherry tomatoes with olive garlic, thyme, pepper and salt and then packing them into sterilised jars and covering them with a layer of olive oil. Done like this, they can be kept in the fridge and used a few at a time – as long as there is always a layer of oil they will keep up to six months, and the oil will take on a rich tomato flavour.
It has been a very good year for climbing French beans and inevitably some of them have grown overlarge. Although they don’t get stringy like runner beans, they do become less palatable as the beans swell inside the pod. Last year I let them dry and ate the beans. They were ok, but rather fiddly and not as good as flageolets or borlotti , so this year I’ve tried something different – and very successful – based on a long-remembered dish I ate on the banks of the Loire many, many years ago. I steamed them until well-cooked and then pureed them with a generous amount of butter, pepper and salt. It was just as delicious as I remembered, a creamy amalgam of pods and beans. It appears to freeze well too, so we should be able to conjure up that summer flavour well into winter. Don’t try this with runner beans though – I’ve tried and it doesn’t work because even when stringy the pods are too watery to puree properly.