Sunday, August 16, 2009

Putting up 'Maters

Yesterday our neighbour Barry came around with large bags of beautiful field-grown local tomatoes. While there have been many absolutely scrumptious tomatoes come off my plants in the last couple of weeks, I'm in a bit of a lull right now. There are plenty of green tomatoes but that first flurry of ripe ones has passed. It's been quite cool and very wet the last few days so the tomatoes are slow to ripen.

So that long introduction was just by way of saying I bought tomatoes yesterday. And I am going to get busy and get as many as possible in the drier very shortly.

I am of two minds. Sliced tomatoes are beautiful when dried. They look like stained glass windows. But they take a lot of room on a drier tray. When I had my big drier with a dozen two foot square trays I could afford to leave things in big pieces. As is, I think I will quarter these big red beauties. They will be wonderful in soups, stews, curries and chili in the cold months.

Imported canned tomatoes are expensive here. A can may easily cost from $1.49 to $1.89 and will have been trucked in from California or even Mexico or China! So drying them for winter use when they are inexpensive and local not only saves me grocery money, it helps the environment.

And this is one way I use tomatoes. Yum yum. This Curry is colourful, and has an amazing combination of textures and a complex mix of flavours. I made it yesterday, enough for several meals worth. We don't mind eating the same thing several times in a row, so I often make several meal's worth.

Squash, Garbanzo & Lentil Curry


1 med onion, chopped

3 ribs celery, chopped
2 large fresh tomatoes, chopped or 1 small can diced tomatoes

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

1 can red lentils, drained and rinsed

1 can 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 small acorn squash cooked pulp

1 TBS creamed coconut paste

1 cup water or broth

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 package prepared Indian Curry Paste

2 cups vegetable broth


1. Stir-fry onion and celery in water or broth in a large soup pot until tender.

2. Add remaining ingredients.

3. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaves before serving. 

Serve with Basamati rice.

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