Yipee Skippy! It's tomato season. Share your recipes and combinations..

Sometime this week I’m going to be harvesting the first few ripe tomatoes. Yay!!! I have fourteen plants just for me (two cherry, the rest are small to large varieties) and there are six fruits ripening on the Bloody Butcher (gotta love that name) plants right now. Since I think the best way to use tomatoes is pretty much just as they are, my recipes are simple.

How do you use your tomatoes? Also, what varieties are your favorites? I like a tangy tomato. None of those wimpy sweet things for me. Celebrity makes a nice main crop. This is the first time I’ve grown the Bloody Butcher. I can’t wait to see what they taste like. Here are my favorite uses.

  1. Cut tomatoes into hunks and mix with cottage cheese and salt. Heaven.

  2. Gotta have BLTs (minus the lettuce).

  3. Chunks of tomato and cucumber marinated in italian dressing.

  4. Open-faced salami and cheese sandwiches: Take a slice of bread and slap on a slice of salami. Grate some cheese and put it on top of the salami. Put it under a broiler until the cheese is melted and the exposed sides of the bread are brown and crusty. Cut up a couple of tomatoes and throw them on top. Sprinkle with salt. Spear a big hunk of tomato with each bite of sandwich. Sop up the tomato juice that collects on the plate with the bottom of the bread. :::drool:::

And my all-time favorite annual tomato feeding frenzy accompaniment…

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

1 cup elbow macaroni, cooked
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon or so butter or margarine
1 tablespoon or so flour
1 teaspoon or so Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
3/4 cup or so cubed Colby cheese

Cut cheese into 1/2 inch cubes and let come to room temperature while you’re preparing everything else. Note: The cheese you use is going to make or break this dish. You need to use a cheese that will actually melt instead of turning into rubbery hunks. Velveeta is not cheese and is forbidden. Crystal Farms brand works best for me. I suppose grating the cheese instead of cubing it would prevent the rubbery thing from happening if you’re not sure how your cheese is going to act.

After the macaroni is cooked, make a white sauce. Melt butter or margarine (I used margarine because it doesn’t burn as easily) in saucepan over high heat. Stir in flour. (Increase the flour and margarine amounts if you like a thicker sauce.) When the flour/margarine mixture is smooth and bubbly, dump in the milk. Add the seasoned salt. I go more by color than amount here. The sauce should have a slight orange tint to it. Better to add too little here than too much. You can add more later, if needed. If you happen to burn the white sauce throw it out and start over. It cannot be saved.

Stir constantly and bring the sauce to a boil and let it boil just a little until it thickens a bit. Remove sauce from heat (taste it to see if there’s enough salt). Throw in the chunks of cheese and stir just to get the cheese covered with sauce. Cover the pan and let the contained heat melt the cheese. That takes about 3 minutes.

Put the cooked macaroni in and stir it all up until the cheese sauce is smooth. Pour into a casserole dish. If you like a creamy cheese sauce, cover it. If you like a crust on top, don’t. Bake at 350 for at least 25 minutes. Longer (30-45 minutes) if you like the top crusty. Makes about 3 cups.

Rule of thumb for a larger batch: 1 part milk to 1 part macaroni to 1 part butter to 1 part flour.

Serve with lots and lots of yummy sliced tomatoes.

My sister will slice peeled, seeded green tomatoes as thin as possible - potato chip thin. Then drege the slices in flour and corn meal and fry until crisp. Absolutely devine.

I have canned 73 pints of fresh tomatoes so far this year. And it’s going to be a long summer. (Note to self: never plant more tomato plants that you have people. 20 plants is just too much!)

I planted four tomato plants this year, all Celebrities, and they are producing gobs of fruit. I should start picking in a week or two. I like to toss the tomatoes, cored and halved, into a big pot and cook them all down to a thick pastelike consistency, picking out the skins partway through with a tongs. The hell with all this seeding and peeling nonsense! Then I freeze the stuff in about pint-size amounts in ziploc bags. I lay the bags flat in the freezer, and can really fit a lot in there in this way.

Come winter, we’ll have plenty of spaghetti sauce fixin’s, what with the tomatoes and the basil frozen in olive oil I’m putting up.

Ditto on the BLT’s without lettuce. Makes a darned good summer breakfast. I also love bruschetta with diced tomatoes, minced garlic, olive oil, basil and cayenne.

I had this in France, seems simple enough…

Slice tomatoes. Get sliced mozzarella cheese. place them over the tomatoes. Cover it all with olive oil and herbs.

I make this at work often, as a way to use up old tomatoes, and we serve them in pastas, salads, or as a garnish to chicken or fish dishes.

Tomato Confit

Ripe tomatoes, stem end removed, cut into wedges, seeds and center membrane (all that wet stuff) removed–only the outer flesh & skin is left.
Olive oil–enough to lightly coat the pieces
A few peeled, whole garlic cloves
A few thyme branches
Salt & pepper

Place on a sheet pan and roast at 250 degrees for about 3 hours, until tomato pieces are shrivelled and turning slightly brown around the edges.

These will last a few weeks in tupperware, or you can can them in olive oil if so inclined.

I also love KarlGrenze’s suggestion. It’s known as a Caprese salad, and it’s best with fresh basil. I do a version using cherry tomatoes and perle/boccocini mozzarella (fresh mozzarella balls the size of the cherry tomatoes), tossed with fresh chopped basil, extra-virgin olive oil, fleur de sel and fresh cracked black pepper. It’s a super-easy salad that requires no cooking.

What Karl said. Last summer I started making bread salads. Just get some nice bread, french or sourdough, tear it into chunks, add cut up tomatoes and either Italian dressing or just plain old olive oil.

I have a balsamic dipping sauce to use this year.

But my tomatoes aren’t doing well at all. I’m in northern Iowa. We’ve already lost one plant to that yellow-brown spotty thing. Four plants left, only one has any fruit.

But the cucumbers are doing really well.

Here’s my favorite summer tomato recipe:
Pick vine ripened tomatos.

Rinse off well.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Slice in quarters.

Add a bit of salt & pepper.


Tomatos are almost perfect just as they are, in addition to being an integral part of many yummy recipes. :slight_smile:

Best tomato recipe

pick tomatoe from vine
wash tomato
bite into tomato letting juice run down your chin.
Have not done that in years.

Fresh tomato, Fresh Basil, Olive Oil, pepper, fresh garlic. Mix together and toss in the fridge for a few hours. Pour over hot pasta. You die and go to heaven right there.

My tomatoes are only starting to appear. I’m getting impatient.

Best tomato recipe:

Roasted Garlic and Tomato Soup

(quantities are approximate. You can’t go wrong, though.)

Fry an onion in a cooking pot. Add 5-6 chopped tomatoes and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil; simmer until mushy, adding more water if necessary.

Blend in blender until smooth.

Add two heads roasted garlic*, blend further. A bit of sugar may be necessary to cut acidity. Add lots and lots of basil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe is easily doubled or tripled for serving lots of friends, or freezing.

  • Roasted garlic: Cut the tips off a head of garlic (not crucial but makes removing them much easier). Put on a square of tin foil. Drizzle olive oil on top. Wrap foil around garlic. Cook in oven (or toaster-oven, to avoid heating up the kitchen) at 350 degrees for an hour. Remove from oven, allow to cool a bit (I always get impatient at this point and end up burning my fingers). Now you can squeeze the delicious garlic goo from the paper and put it in your soup, or on a piece of bread, or directly in your mouth, or whatever.

Penne Amatriciana

1lb tomatoes, diced
1/2lb bacon, bias cut in 1/4" strips
olive oil
Sea salt or kosher salt
1 yellow onion, sliced thin and chopped in 1" pieces
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Fresh basil, chopped
Ground pepper
1 box penne or other pasta

Saute the bacon in a few tablespoons of olive oil, until done. Remove from pan. Add onions and saute until tender. Add the tomatoes, the cooked bacon, the red pepper flakes and a little salt. Bring to boiling point, reduce heat to simmer and cook covered for about an hour, stirring occasionally. Either serve over cooked penne or add pasta to sauce and mix together. Top with fresh herbs and ground pepper.

Don’t destroy the fantastic sensation that is tomato, by eating them styraight from the frisge. Tomatoes should be at room temperature when eaten, to allow for all flavor to be evident. Store them in the fridge, by all means, but take them out at least an hour before devouring.

I like to fry my 'maters with parmesan. I cut off top and bottom of the tomato to get slices almost 1" thick. Heat a skillet and put in butter (not oil or margarine, real butter) but don’t let it get too hot. While the butter is melting, flip the tomato slices in grated parmesan (the pre grated is fine for this). It’s optional to use freshly ground black pepper, some salt and some dreid basil mixed in with the cheese. It’s a bit tricky, but with a good spatula and a gentle touch you can get the slices with the parmesan into the skillet.
If the skillet is too hot, you’ll just ruin it, so be careful and keep an eye on the pan. Let the slices simmer under a lid, so they get cooked almost all the way through. And more of the cheese (and spices) on top of each slice and flip them over. You’ll notices when they’re done and if you been carefull, you now have a heavenly experience ahead of you. The tomatoes now have a thick, golden brown cheesy crust (looking almost like breaded fish, but … well red). Enjoy as a side dish with anything you’ve had on the bbq, or just plain with garlic bread. A good red wine is a must.

A sandwich I call “Boston” (bacon, onion, salmon, tomato on…)

1 toasted bagel
cream cheese
Fried bacon, crumbled
red onion, sliced very thin
smoked sockeye salmon
fresh tomato, sliced how you like it
fresh dill

Spread cream cheese on both bagel halves, crumble bacon on bagel halves. Crumble smoked salmon on bacon. Layer onion and tomato. Top with dill. Mmmmmm…

Yummy Cowgirl! I am going to try this later in the week. Is this your recipe?

We have an abundant tomato crop this year as well. We like to make GRILLED TOMATOES WITH AIOLI

My favorite tomato thing ever:

Pappa al Pomodoro

2 pounds ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup extra-virgin Italian (of course) olive oil
3/4 cup onions (traditionally yellow but red work too), diced
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/4 pound stale bread, with no crust, preferably the coarse, chewy kind of bread
black pepper

Dice tomatoes, and capture all the bits and all the juicy, pulpy parts in a bowl. You can leave the skins on or blanch them off if you prefer (or do half-and-half on the skins).

(for the tomatoes and the onions, you want to dice them fairly fine, your end result shouldn’t be chunky.)

Warm about 1/4 cup of the olive oil in saucepan over low heat. Add onions and salt to taste. Cook over medium-low heat for 8 minutes until tender and clear. Add garlic, and cook another 2 -3 minutes. Add tomatoes + juice, and the other 1/4 cup of olive oil, bring to a simmer.

Add basil to taste, cook another 5 minutes or so. You don’t want to overcook this. Taste and add salt if necessary. Tear your stale bread into chucks (about large crouton size), and add to the pot. Cover and remove from the heat.

The bread will soak and soften – about 15 minutes. Add black pepper to taste. Give it a brisk stir to break up the bread, but don’t stir too much after this. Remove basil leaves. If your tomatoes were not very sweet (and I’m sure yours are :slight_smile: ) you could add just a little sugar if you wanted to.

This is a traditional Florentine dish – it’s how people would use up their stale bread so none was wasted. Tuscan bread is generally cooked with no salt, so in Italy you would need to add more salt as you are cooking the tomatoes.

Serve hot in the winter, cold in the summer (like gazpacho). It should have the “firmness” of mashed squash, so you could serve it either as a lump on a plate as a side dish, or in a bowl as an appetizer. (I think there’s another word I’m looking for here other than firmness – what I’m trying to say is that it shouldn’t be so liquidy that you couldn’t serve it on a plate.)

In Italy, it’s served with another drizzle of olive oil over it, along with more cracked black pepper. (I like to sprinkle a little grated parmesan cheese as well, but this is decidely NOT the way it would be served in Tuscany.)

Slice tomatoes…drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar…sprinkle some salt, freshly ground pepper, and freshly grated parmesan…take the whole lot into a closet and eat in there so nobody else tries to have any.

From my sister-in-law the corn freak: Make a thick cornmeal and milk batter. Slice big tomatoes really thin, dip in batter, and fry in bacon grease.

I like tomato slices fried in butter with mozzarella cheese melted on top. Especially if you put them under the broiler so the cheese gets all brown. Hmmmmmm…

Quoth Tinkertoy:

I can do one better:
Pick cherry tomato
Rub clean under garden hose, and wipe on shirt
Bite into cherry tomato, letting seeds spray all over.

And as per the OP, tomato and cucumber with Italian dressing is probably pretty good, but tomato and cucumber with sour cream dressing is even better (I think you need to add vinegar and sugar to the sour cream, but I don’t remember how much. Just go by taste). It’s also a good idea to add some chopped onions, too.

I mostly grow Early Girls in my garden, since they’re one of the few varieties that do well in our short growing season, but the best tomato I ever had was a Roma. It’d be an exercise in futility trying to grow them here, halfway up the globe, though.