Home grown tomaters and fave recipes therefor

I am up to my armpits in homegrown tomatoes. I plant “Carousel,” a variety whose superb flavor and meaty, almost seedless interior is belied by its nondescript appearance. I’ve got bushels of the freakin’ things! If you’re having the same problem, try:


Quit playing around with trying to peel and seed the tomatoes. Core them, cut them in half if they’re big, and throw them into a big kettle. Add a little water to get things going, and bring them to a boil. After a few minutes, use a pair of tongs to pick out the skins. Then keep cooking them until they’re quite thick. You can always thin the sauce down when you add it to a recipe. Don’t add salt or seasoning of any kind, so that the sauce will be versatile enough to use in anything. It freezes well in serving-sized portions in ziploc bags.


Do we need a recipe here? Cook Farmer John bacon until crisp, and layer it on white toast with thick slices of ripe tomatoes, salt and pepper, lettuce and a little mayo. In late August when the tomatoes are at their best, this is the sandwich of the gods.
RAITA (Indian Yogurt Salad)

1 cup plain full-fat yogurt
1 medium tomato, finely diced
1/4 cup grated cucumber
1 tsp of garam marsala (Indian spice blend)
Pinch each of salt and sugar

Mix it all up and let it sit in the fridge for an hour. Serve with spicy Indian food or just scoop it up on pita bread to eat it by itself.


Two large tomatoes, seeds shaken out, diced fine
1 clove garlic, minced
small handful of fresh basil, julienned
1 tsp white wine vinegar
A shake or two of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oil
big pinch of salt
3 or 4 thick slices of good crusty Italian bread

Mix everything except the salt and bread and let the mixture sit at room temp for about an hour, tossing gently once or twice. Stir in the salt. Toast the Italian bread, put the slices on plates and generously top them with the tomato mixture, making sure to spoon up all the marinating juice. It will soak deliciously into the toast.

Who wants to share their favorite recipes so that we can deal with the tomato inundation?

White bread, a tomato still warm from the garden, Hellman’s mayo, and ground pepper. You don’t need another damn thing.

I just love fresh sliced tomatoes, with fresh soft mozzarella. Drench 'em with olive oil, fresh cut basil and arugala. Maybe a little salt & pepper. Mop it with fresh italian bread.

Nothin’ beats it man.

Sounds like yours are already ripe, but I tell you that fried green tomatoes are a gift from heaven. Being a bachelor, I don’t have a special recipe or anything; I’ve used those pre-packaged tempura batter packages from the grocery store the few times I’ve made it.

No idea what this dish is really called - ex-hippie mom used to make it.

1 can garbanzo beans/chickpeas
2 smallish tomatoes or 1 big one
Red Pepper
Cooked Chicken (optional if you want a veggie dish)

Skin & de-seed (optional) tomatoes & chop into approx 3/4 inch chunks.

Put drained garbanzos & tomatoes (& chicken) in a skillet with the red pepper & tumeric to taste - stir & cook until tomatoes are semi-mushy.

Serve over rice or couscous.

NOTE: the tumeric will (eventually) stain the skillet.

Quoth plnnr:

I agree wholeheartedly, but what are the bread, mayo, and pepper for?

And puglvr, that raita you describe sounds almost exactly like a German salad that my Gramma makes. The cukes are sliced rather than shredded, it’s sour cream instead of yogurt, and the spices are different, but other than that, identical. Oh, yeah, and some chopped onion works really well in it, too.

ratatoulle? tomatos cut in chunks, garlic, summer squash, zucchini, eggplant, fresh basil… lots and lots of olive oil. mmmmm.

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Cut out stem-end and slice into quarters and place on a baking sheet with an edge (like a jellyroll pan). Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and tuck a few stems of thyme and cloves of garlic in there, too. Slow roast at 250 degrees for about 3 hours until tomatoes are shrivelled.

Use like sun-dried tomatoes–in salads and pasta dishes.

Fried Green Tomatoes…

Dip them in a little wash (oil, milk, egg, whatever) drench them in corn meal, fry until golden brown.

Yum yum yum yum yum.

My favorite:

Insalata Caprese

fresh tomatoes, can be sliced fairly thickly, alternated with:

fresh mozzarella, sliced the same, it’s great if you have mozzarella bufala (buffalo) but regular is fine

drizzle with olive oil

sprinkle with chopped fresh basil

“Spruced up” versions use vinegar with the olive oil, or balsamic vinegar, or arugula instead of the basil. The above, IMHO, is best.

My wife slices our 'maters, lays 'em on bagels and cheese, and seasons with salt and pepper to taste. When I get my hands on the cooking, I’ll also lay the cheese on top and roast it under the broiler for a little bit.

I’d welcome some other recipes for freezable sauces, too. I’ve got tomatoes but don’t feel like using them for immediate consumption.

Thanks for some good ideas. I have a bajillion green tomatoes still on the vine, and I doubt that all will ripen up before it’s time to pull up the plants. I’ve never tried fried green tomatoes (let’s face it, they don’t sound appetizing), but everyone who suggests trying them is mad about them. I’ll have to get out the buttermilk and cornmeal and give 'em a try.

In the meantime, I’m stewing little cubes of lamb shoulder in some of the fresh tomato sauce with garlic, and it will go over linguini for dinner tonight, garnished with fresh basil (which I am also drowning in). Isn’t it great to have fresh produce from the garden?

You can make puree a couple two three ways.

Cut em in half, grate em on a box grater, throw the skins away.

Cut em in half, cook em covered til they collapse, pass em through a food mill.

Or Pugluvr’s way.

Cranky, those will all freeze up just fine in Zip-locs. If you want chunks, you gotta blanch em, peel em, and chunk em with a knife.

My favorite thing to do with tomatoes: exactly the way plannr makes a tomato sandwich. You and I like the same kinda things, plannr…

Second fave.

Fresh pasta with tomato sauce, herbs, and butter.

Make Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce #3.

Cut 2-3 lbs of tomatoes in half, cook em covered til they collapse, pass em thru a food mill (if you don’t have a food mill grate em as noted above), put em back in a pan with half an onion and 4 T of butter and a little salt, simmer til thick, take out onion.

Add chopped fresh herbs of your choice. (I used basil, parsley, and a little mint last time and it was divine.) Simmer another five minutes to release the herb’s essential oils. Season to taste.

Place cooked fresh pasta in bowls, ladle some sauce over the pasta (not too much), and put a pat of fresh clean butter on top of the sauce. Have your guests toss the pasta, butter, and sauce together. The butter smoothes and enrichens the sauce in a most luxurious way.

Bachelors, take note: this will get you laid.

Pugluvr, can I come for dinner? By the way, I had a sauce much like the one you described at Al Forno this summer, except sub mint instead of basil, and grate over a lot of salty Pecarino. Yeah boy!

I forgot one other- tomato bread.

Cut a sweet, not sour, baguette into long, angled bruchettas about 3/4 inch thick.

Toast, or better, grill em over coals.

Rub lightly with garlic (very easy to put too much garlic on, with is ok unless you are enjoying wine with these).

Take tomato halves and rub them vigorously on the bruschettas til they get nice and wet but still retain some crispness inside.

Drizzle with good olive oil, add salt and pepper.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Caprese has been brought up. Here’s how to do it with pasta:

Cube about 4-5 ripe tomatoes. Put in mixing bowl. Mince 3-4 cloves of garlic, add to bowl. Add at least 1 tsp. dried basil, some salt & pepper, stir. Add about 2 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar, stir. Add about 1/4 cup olive oil, stir. Let sit for at least an hour.

Cook fusilli or rotini until done. Pour in a bit of the oil from the tomato mixture, then stir in about a cup of grated white cheese (mozzarella, provolone, cheddar), until melted. Dump in tomato mixture, stir well, and take off heat.

Serve with Parmesan, Romano, and/or plain salt.