This has been the best year I have ever had for tomatoes, thanks to my friend Bonnie H who advised me on what I was doing wrong. Mostly it had to do with sunlight, and getting more of it to the plants. Anyway, this year has seen a bounty of tomatoes, so much so we were having trouble keeping up!
Small sweet cherry tomatoes, medium red heirlooms sit alongside Cherokee purples and a couple of big red beefsteaks. These are all so flavorful, left on the vine as long as possible. Two days of picking ripe ones and I have a full plate piled high.
Cherokee Purples aren’t the prettiest tomatoes, but oh, what flavor!!
So, what to do with them. A Caprese salad with yellow and red heirloom tomatoes is a delicious way to showcase thick meaty slices, as I talked about in my post on Heirloom Tomatoes. These green plates were donated back to the thrift store some time ago, and I have regretted that ever since! If they ever show up again, I am buying them back.
Or just use the heirloom red ones with lots of fresh basil and fresh mozzarella.
Add avocado slices to the stack, and top with fresh cracked black pepper and a bold smoked salt for an extra dimension of flavor.
You can only eat so many salads, LOL, so try my recipe for Chipotle Avocado Egg Salad Wrap recipe. I entered this one in the State Fair a few years ago, but I got too nervous while preparing it and put in too much dressing.
Tomato sandwiches with thick slices of multiple varieties, sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper.
With more large ones ripening a day or two later, I roasted a pan full of thick slices. See how I do that on this post – End of the Garden Tomatoes. I found this idea in a charming little book Simple Pleasures of the Garden. This time I roasted at 200º for 8 hours on a cookie sheet instead of a rack, then packed them into my old Ball jar (see that post for some interesting history) and topped them with olive oil. I stored the jar in the refrigerator. A few days later, I used them on a fresh pizza. Beginning with a refrigerated pizza crust dough, I pre-baked it for 8 minutes, then began topping it with goodies. These tomatoes have such an intense flavor, they are all that is needed as a sauce base.
I topped them with dollops of ricotta, fresh mushrooms, fresh basil, and fresh spinach.
Adding a good amount of mozzarella and some cooked bacon, I baked the pizza until it was hot, the cheese was melted, and the crust was brown.
Yum!! Fresh and delicious, and good the next day too.
The rest of the roasted tomatoes will be used in my Chicken Stuffed with Sun Dried Tomatoes, substituting my fresh roasted ones for the sun dried ones in the recipe.
Try my One Dish Italian Meal with a base of fresh spinach topped with a mixture of hot pasta, sausage and fresh tomato.
Or my other go-to fast meal, Quick Italian Dinner. Just a few ingredients, and on the table in under half an hour. One note, I have had to close comments on posts that are older as I’ve been getting a tremendous amount of spammers lately on those.
Last weekend I saw a fun idea on a Japanese show on Netflix (Midnight Diner), so I had to try it. Wrap cherry tomatoes with bacon, put them on skewers and grill. Oh my!!
And then, there is My Sweet Babboo’s favorite way to eat fresh tomatoes, bruschetta! For mine, I toast the bread first, top with chopped fresh tomatoes and fresh basil, drizzle with garlic flavor olive oil, top with parmesan and broil until the cheese melts and starts to brown. Yum!!
How do you like to eat fresh tomatoes from the garden or farmer’s market?
Check out these books for more delicious ideas to use tomatoes –
Simple Pleasures of the Garden,
Bread, Tomato, Garlic Quick Cooking with 3 Main Ingredients,
The Good Cook’s Book of Tomatoes,
The Tomato Basket,
Tomatoes, Garlic, Basil Simple Pleasures of Growing and Cooking Your Garden’s Most Versatile Vegetable,
Tomatomania!: A Fresh Approach to Celebrating Tomatoes in the Garden and in the Kitchen and
The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table: Recipes, Portraits, and History of the World’s Most Beautiful Fruit
(Amazon affiliate links)