Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What do I do with all these tomatoes?

There's really nothing like a homegrown tomato, right? I wait and wait until the first ones are ready, and then I'm inundated! Happens every time! And I'm not complaining!

This year I planted six plants, and I hope you don't think I remember what they are! My dog likes to steal the little plant markers...I should probably go ahead and buy some of the really cute ones I see on Etsy, like metal ones that he can't chew. There are two cherry tomatoes, one is Sungold and the other is Sweet 100, and they are both great and making LOTS of little tomatoes! I have some kind of plum tomato that is also producing like crazy. The tomatoes are very small but very tasty. I have one plant making the biggest tomatoes I've ever grown -- I think it's a Bush Steak. And the other two are...also tomatoes.

Recently I made some bruschetta with roasted tomatoes. It was quite delicious. I had a recipe but I changed it a lot so I'll tell you what I did. I used about 3 pints of tomatoes -- all kinds cut up kind of chunky. I tossed the tomatoes with some minced garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp. sea salt, and 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper. I spread it all out on a jelly roll pan and baked in a 325 degree over for about an hour. Then combine the roasted tomatoes with 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil (I have a lot of that too!) and 1 Tbsp of red wine vinegar. I sliced some ciabatta and put eight or ten slices on a pan in the broiler and toasted them on one side. Then I took them out, turned them over and spread them with the roasted tomatoes, and then topped them with some shaved parmesan cheese. Back in the broiler just to melt the cheese a little. Voila, and yum!

Here's another recipe I love. I found it last summer in a Country Living magazine, so you may already have it. It's for Tomato Pie. In a way it seems sad to take something so healthy and fat free and turn it into an artery-clogging fattening dish...but oh my, is it good!
Here's what you need:
4 medium tomatoes
1 9" deep dish pie shell, baked
1 cup chopped white onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375. Cut six tomato slices for garnish, set aside. Halve remaining tomatoes, remove seeds, and cut each half into about six wedges. Place half the wedges in bottom of baked pie shell. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup onion, 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper, and 1 Tbsp basil. Stir mayonnaise, Parmesan, and Cheddar together in a small bowl, then spread half of mixture over onion layer. Repeat with remaining tomatoes, 1/2 cup onion, 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper, and 1 Tbsp basil. Add remaining mayonnaise mixture. Place reserved tomato slices in pinwheel design in pie center. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. If piecrust starts overbrowning, cover edges with foil. Allow pie to cool for 20 minutes before serving.
Pretty much of my favorite ways to eat tomatoes is just sliced with sea salt. Or how about a tomato sandwich with lots of mayo and salt and pepper? Or, best of all, right off the plant!
What are some of your favorite ways to use tomatoes? I need to know!!!


Samara said...

What gorgeous tomatoes. And now I want to eat them!

Cynthia said...

I'm getting a lot of lycopene these days!

amandala said...

that brushetta recipe sounds great. I'll have to try it. I don't really like fresh tomatoes, but I'm trying. I have one big tomato plant that is producing, and brushetta sounds like a perfect way to enjoy them...I'm growing basil too, yum!

Cynthia said...

Hi Mandy! Yes, tomatoes and basil are perfect partners, aren't they?