My tomatoes are cracking (weather related**) and it doesn't take long before insects attack and the tomatoes mold/rot. Even though I'm a believer that vine ripened tastes best, no point in leaving them until they've been destroyed.
I put the tomatoes in a bucket of tap water with a healthy cup of salt. Totally emerse clean tomatoes and let them soak about 15 minutes. Don't rinse and lay them in the sun to dry. The salt bath tends to repel gnats, pushes out the window of health and allows more time to ripen.
If the tomatoes have weeping cracks: After the salt bath, core, cut into quarters and freeze. Add these to your next batch of sauce. They can be at any stage, from green to very ripe as long as they have no rot. If there's some damage, cut that portion away until the only thing left is solid healthy meat.
Following is an old Amish recipe. They called them patties or today they might be called fritters. It's good as a side dish or include a small salad for a meatless meal.
Amish Tomato Patties
4 to 5 - Tomatoes - cored & peeled
1 C - All-purpose flour
1 tsp - Baking powder
1 tsp - Sugar
2 T - Basil, fresh and minced (or 1/4 tsp. dried basil)
3/4 tsp - Salt
1 T - Onion - minced
1 T - Parsley, fresh and chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp - Worcestershire sauce
Oil for fryingCut tomatoes into 1/2 inch pieces and drain on a paper towel.
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar, basil and salt. If you like "hot", a few red pepper flakes may be added at this point.
Add tomatoes to the flour mixture along with onion, parsley and Worcestershire sauce - DO NOT mix.
In a small bowl, beat egg and add to the flour/tomato mixture. Blend lightly with a fork to make batter.
Heat oil (about 1/4 inch) in heavy fry pan. Drop the batter by tablespoons into hot oil. Turn as needed until golden on all sides. Cooking too long will remove the flavors and make them tough. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on papertowels. Keep warm until served.
** See my article #53 "Tomato Perfection" for more information on splitting.