Recipes: Ten Things to Do With Tomatoes

Are you in desperate need for tomato recipes as all of your home-growns start to ripen? Us too.

One of the very first things I did when the quarantine started was to race online to buy tomato seeds. Like everything else in early Spring, they weren’t easy to find, but I persevered. Eventually, I obtained two little packets of seeds and my adventures in gardening began. The good news was that I had a great gardener to model myself after.

I consider myself very lucky to have had the childhood I did. I grew up in a house across the street from my grandparents and it’s hard to tell if I spent more time at their house or my own. One of my fondest childhood memories is helping my grandfather with his tomato plants every summer. He would start his little seedlings on a window sill in the kitchen and then, when the cold broke, we’d move them out to the garden, each carefully surrounded in cages he made. He approached the nurturing of his tomatoes with a scientific rigidity. Sun exposure, water, drainage, and protection from animals and disease were all carefully regulated.

I’m afraid to say that he’d cringe at my more laissez faire approach but nurturing these plants made me feel closer to him. Now, I am the very proud owner of four sprawling vines bursting with tomatoes and I know he’d be proud too. Intent on not letting a single one go to waste, I’ve found ten tomato recipes to incorporate them in my meals. I hope that enjoying the sweet taste of your tomatoes brings back the same joy and fond childhood memories for you that it has for me.

tomato recipes 1 - broiled tomatoes

Recipe 1: Broiled Tomatoes

This is a true childhood favorite. Slice your tomato in half so that you have a top and bottom. Place both halves cut side up on a baking pan lined with tinfoil. Top each half generously with parmesan and then put 3 small pats of butter on top. Place pan under the broiler until the butter melts and the cheese turns golden and crisp. This makes a great side to almost any main course.

Recipe 2: Sauteed Tomatoes

This is a versatile recipe that serves either as a side or a topping for grilled pork or chicken. I use Ina Garten’s recipe which can be found here. Preparation is quite simple and involves sauteeing the tomatoes in hot olive oil with garlic, basil, and thyme.

Recipe 3: Caprese Salad

Place a lettuce leaf on a plate and top with alternating slices of tomato and mozzarella cheese (if possible buy a locally produced cheese–we love Caputo’s). Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic glaze, and a decorative basil leaf.

tomatoes recipe 2 - blt

Recipe 4: Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato

Another favorite that never gets old. I’m not even sure this requires explanation: fry your bacon, slice the tomatoes, and take a few leaves of lettuce. Stack a layer of bacon, lettuce, and a tomato on a slice of toast. Spread mayonnaise on another slice of toast and place on top. Enjoy a tried and true sandwich!

Recipe 5: Tomato Soup

Again, I look to Ina here for expertise. It actually only takes fifteen minutes to prep and is enriched with a touch of cream. As Ina would say, how easy is that?

Recipe 6: Marinara Sauce

I’m sure you saw this coming. Again, you’d be surprised at how easy it is to make. Looking to the guidance of my favorite chef (yes, I have every one of Ina’s cookbooks), she simply sautees onion and garlic in olive oil and then adds wine, crushed tomatoes, and seasoning. Don’t forget to pour yourself a glass of that wine while it simmers for fifteen minutes. Recipe here.

tomato recipes 3 - tomato pesto pasta

Recipe 7: Tomatoes with Pesto Pasta

Simply cook your pasta as directed (my absolute favorite is Cipriani Tagliarelle). Drain the pasta and then stir in a few spoonfuls of pesto sauce (I use jarred from the farmers’ market but Rao’s also makes a great option), diced tomatoes, and diced onions. Top with Parmesan.

Recipe 8: Tomato Bruschetta

My cousin, Erin, is the master of this one. She makes it for almost every family party and there is never any left. Simply dice tomatoes, garlic, and basil and mix with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Slice french bread, spread with olive oil and toast in oven. Put the topping on the slices and you are finished. This also makes a great salsa for chips. Recipe here.

Recipe 9: Tomato and Green Onion Scrambled Eggs

One of the things I miss most about New York is Balthazar’s scrambled eggs. They were so creamy and flavorful and nothing like the hard chunks of egg that constituted scrambled eggs when I was growing up. It turns out the secret to creamy scrambled eggs is simply cooking them at a lower temperature. Now I make them all the time for lunch. I add in any toppings I have on hand when they are almost finished cooking. These days, it’s diced tomatoes and green onion. Find the slow cooked scrambled egg recipe here.

Recipe 10: Share with Friends

Okay, this isn’t really one of our tomato recipes but it is a tried and true way to dwindle your tomato stockpile. Find cute little baskets, stack them full of tomatoes, and share with neighbors. There is no better gift to give.

Happy Tomato Season and Let Us Know Your Favorite Tomato Recipes!

tomatoes in kitchen

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