Ten Things To Do With Your Garden Tomatoes
You Say Tomato?
Ahhhh, the fresh, earthy smell of tomatoes straight from the garden. All the hot and dry weather this summer has created a beautiful, bountiful tomato harvest this season. If you're not sure what to do with all those red-lovelies, here are some ideas to get you motivated.
1. Share them with your friends and neighbors. They will love you for it (and consequently they may be more likely to shovel the sidewalk for you in December).
2. Marinate them in a mason jar with home-made red wine vinaigrette--add red onions and garlic if you like. This works especially nice for cherry tomatoes. Keep these in the refrigerator. They are super for throwing in salads or to add a little color to your dinner plate.
3. Make your own tomato sauce. It is super easy--all you really have to is puree tomatoes with roasted garlic. You can either use the sauce right away or freeze for later use. I made a batch of this sauce with yellow tomatoes.
4. Freeze bags of tomatoes and use them all winter long. This works especially well for cherry tomatoes. A chest freezer is wonderful for this purpose if you have limited freezer space in your refrigerator.
5. If you have large tomatoes, hollow by scooping out the seeds, steam until slightly tender and fill with blue and gruyere cheeses melted with a little white wine--top with fresh basil. Delicioso!
6. Pickled! Fill a mason jar one quarter full of apple cider vinegar, add 3 teaspoons of salt, fresh dill, fresh garlic and hot peppers (optional). Green tomatoes work especially well. Let the jars sit out overnight and then refrigerate. Get crazy with your own seasonings; substitute rice wine vinegar, add sesame oil and soy sauce to taste for an Asian twist.
7. Roast with garlic and olive oil--great on salads and pizzas. You can also roast red peppers at the same time. Save old olive or pickle jars and store your roasted vegetables in them. You can keep this fresh by adding a periodic splash of olive oil.
8. Go Southern style with fried green tomatoes. First coat with cornmeal and fry in vegetable oil. You can also prepare these with a flour coating; it is extra swell to season the flour with Cajun spice.
9. Use cherry tomatoes to make veggie kabobs; skewer with peppers, onions and mushrooms and freeze for later use. When you are ready, roast them with olive oil.
10. An old favorite; the caprese salad--layer tomato slices with mozzarella and basil, top with olive oil, salt and freshly cracked pepper. This recipe is easy, classic and always delicious.
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