Easy Ideas for Gluts

This post is for anyone who has more tomatoes (or beans, peas, or courgettes) than they know what to do with… some useful kitchen tips for virtually any glut you can think of.

Tomatoes

  • Bruschetta – chop lots of tomatoes, mix with a pinch of sea salt and some fresh oregano and serve on a slice of sourdough toast.
  • Make tomato topping for pizza – you’ll be surprised how many tomatoes you can use up! Just fry a load of chopped tomatoes in olive oil with a bit of garlic until they go soft and the liquid reduces. Add a spoonful of tomato puree, some salt and pepper and some oregano. Job done.
  • Make tomato sauce for pasta – you can make and freeze cooked tomato sauce. Add in other glut veggies too, like courgettes.
  • Make tomato chutneys
  • “Sun dried tomatoes” – you can make these in the oven, and we’ve even heard of people drying halved tomatoes in a hot car! Once dried you can store them for ages. See below post for details.

Beans

  • Freeze them – beans freeze quite well, so be sure to pop some in the freezer so that you can enjoy them over the winter.
  • Dry them – let borlotti bean pods dry out on the plants. Once dried, harvest them, pod them and let the beans dry out fully inside before storing them.
  • Beans in tomato sauce – this makes quite a good summer dish…make a tomato sauce (using your tomato glut!) and blanche the beans. Then mix beans with tomato sauce and put them into an oven proof dish. Meanwhile, toast some breadcrumbs in garlicky oil. Add the breadcrumbs and some grated cheese over the top of the beans and bake until the cheese melts.
  • Runner bean chutney. This is a good way of preserving some of the extra runners!
  • Green bean salads – these are a great addition to a summer BBQ. Boil the beans, drain them and pop the in cold water to stop them over cooking. Remove from the water while they are still just warm and mix them with the dressing of your choice. You can add any combination of vinaigrette, sun dried tomatoes, or bacon, garlic, toasted seeds and tahini, olives and so on to spruce them up.

Courgette

  • Roast courgette quesadilla – roast some courgettes, then mash them up. Spread a layer of the mashed courgettes on a tortilla, sprinkle over some cheese, then add another tortilla on top. Dry fry on both sides and serve. It’s great with a bean chilli.
  • BBQ courgette – courgette is such a good one for BBQ. Lightly oil long slices of courgette, then cook on the BBQ until they soften and you get good char marks. You can serve these with goats cheese, or mint and wild rocket, or with lime, garlic and chilli.
  • Stuffed courgettes – scoop out the flesh to make a stuffing mixed with diced onions, herbs, cooked rice, olives and anything else you like. Stuff the courgettes and bake in the oven for 20 mins.
  • Courgette Ribbon Salad – use a peeler to make long slices of courgette ribbons. Mix with wild rocket and minty salad dressing. It’s great for BBQs and summer lunches.
  • Courgette Soup – for those slightly dreary, overcast summer days, a light courgette soup can be really comforting. Fry some onions and garlic, add sliced courgette, potatoes and stock and simmer until cooked. Then blitz. Add a bit of cheese too, extra delicious!
  • Ratatouille – always a good dish to use up lots of gluts…tomatoes, courgettes, onions, aubergines.
  • Bake cakes! Courgette Lemon Drizzle, Courgette Chocolate Brownies, Courgette Muffins… there are lots of cakes to bake with courgettes.

Peas, Sugarsnaps & Mangetout

  • Add to stir-fries and paella/risotto
  • Make crushed pea, mint and feta dips – they’re great on bruschetta too.
  • Summer Minestrone – this can make a good lunch for a late summers day. Use homemade stock and plenty of fresh veg and herbs for great flavour.
  • Mangetout or Sugar Snap Salads – quickly blanche the peas and plunge them into cold water. Lightly dress them with a minty dressing whilst still slightly warm.
  • Mix them all together – stir fry them and add a bit of butter and mint. This is a great accompaniment to roast chicken for a light Sunday lunch.
ring of fire chilli

Chillies and Peppers

  • Chillies freeze well whole – just pop them in the freezer and pull them out when you want to use them. You can chop them whilst they’re still more or less frozen and add them to your dishes.
  • Make Spanish style roast peppers – Roast peppers in the oven until the skin is fairly blackened. Once cool, peel off the skin and shred the pepper into thin lengths. Pop them into a jar and cover with olive oil. You can then use them as and when you are ready.
  • Cook some pasta sauce – add some roasted peppers to a tomato pasta sauce before blending.
  • Stuff them – it’s an easy winner for excess peppers! Stuff them with leftover risotto, or make a specific stuffing using any other veggies you have.
  • BBQ them – you can BBQ peppers whole – just turn them regularly until they start to blacken on each side. People will love adding a slice or two to their burgers!
Cucumber

Cucumbers

  • Make pickles – cucumbers are really good pickled! See below post.
  • Use in Gin & Tonic
  • Make Tzatziki – good for lamb burgers, or as a simple dip with crudités or breadsticks.
  • Make a Greek salad – this is a good one if you have lots of tomatoes too – simply mix chopped cucumber, tomatoes, red onion and get and black olives. Add a dressing and that’s a good dish!
  • Mix with Ribboned Courgettes – the two combined with a minty dressing makes a really refreshing salad on a hot day.

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