Get The Most Out of Your Plum and Roma Tomatoes from Backyard Eats
Harvesting Plum and Roma Tomatoes
When It’s Ready
- Tomatoes can be harvested any time after the appearance of orange or yellow coloring on the blossom end (bottom).
- Harvest at this stage and bring inside where it will be protected from critters, insects, and excessive rain.
When It’s Too Late
- Excessive rainfall may cause ripening or ripe tomatoes to split, which is one reason we recommend harvesting before ripening.
- Overripe tomatoes will begin to fall from their vine, or be easily smashed with light pressure.
- Tomatoes can usually be pulled with one hand to remove from the vine.
Growing Plum and Roma Tomatoes
Plum tomatoes, also known as Roma tomatoes, are an oval-shaped tomato variety with a firm texture and a rich, tangy flavor. They are commonly used in Italian and Mediterranean cuisines and are often used in sauces, soups, and stews. Plum tomatoes are typically used in cooked dishes rather than raw, as they have a thick skin and meaty flesh that holds up well to cooking. They are often roasted, sautéed, or simmered to bring out their intense flavor.
Varieties of Plum and Roma Tomatoes
Grape Tomato ‘Red Pearl’ | Paste Tomato ‘Plum Regal’ | Roma Tomato ‘San Marzano’
Storing Plum and Roma Tomatoes
- Wash tomatoes, remove any stems.
- For unripe tomatoes, place upside down on the counter until ripe (no sun required).
- For fully ripe tomatoes, refrigerate for up to 3 days to preserve. Allow to come to room temperature before serving (you may slice upon removal from the refrigerator to speed up the warming process).
- Partially damaged or rotten tomatoes can be used in sauces if the damaged portion is completely removed.
Cooking With Plum and Roma Tomatoes
- Tomato Sauce: Paste tomatoes, such as Roma or San Marzano, are perfect for making rich and flavorful tomato sauce. Simmer the peeled and seeded tomatoes with garlic, onions, herbs, and a touch of olive oil for a delicious homemade sauce.
- Caprese Skewers: Skewer bite-sized pieces of paste tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil leaves. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and a sprinkle of salt and pepper for a simple and elegant appetizer.
- Tomato Bruschetta: Dice paste tomatoes and mix them with minced garlic, chopped basil, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spoon the mixture onto toasted baguette slices for a tasty and vibrant bruschetta.
- Tomato and Cucumber Salad: Combine diced paste tomatoes with diced cucumbers, red onions, and a simple vinaigrette dressing. Toss in some fresh herbs like basil or parsley for a refreshing and colorful salad.
- Roasted Tomato Salsa: Roast halved paste tomatoes along with garlic cloves, jalapeños, and onions until they are soft and slightly caramelized. Blend the roasted vegetables with lime juice, cilantro, and salt for a smoky and flavorful salsa.