Tomatoes Straight out of the Garden
As I was picking these luscious tomatoes from my garden this morning, I pondered all the different things I could do with them.
I thought I’d share my ideas:
- Eat ’Em Straight Up – pretty much describes itself – this happens to at least a few of these cuties each time I go out to pick them.
- Super Simple Salad – simply add some basil (from the garden) and a light vinaigrette. You can still taste all the freshness!
- Salsa – dice the tomatoes and add some chopped red onions, green chiles (or jalapeno if you dare), cilantro and/or flat parsley and garlic. Mix them together and go for it – or chill for later.
- Gazpacho – perfect summertime soup! Add olive oil, onion, red wine vinegar, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, cucumber, garlic and salt, puree and chill. (check out this Simple Gazpacho recipe)
- Oven Dry Them – This recipe takes a while to complete, but it’s simple and worth the wait – drying them slowly is key! Cut tomatoes in half, sprinkle them with some salt and put in an oven set at 200 – 250 degrees. Leave them in there from 4 to 8 hours (depending on thickness of slices.) You’re looking for them to still be tender but to be a bit shriveled too. Use them right away in salads or add to some pasta. These will also keep if you put them in a covered container topping them with some olive oil – throw in some herbs like oregano to add a bonus flavor.
- Roast with Balsamic Vinegar. A little less time-consuming than oven-drying them. Toss tomato slices with olive oil and salt and pepper. Put them in a baking dish and roast them for 15-20 minutes at 325 degrees. After roasting, toss them with a little bit of balsamic vinegar and some herbs – oregano, basil etc. These can be served warm or cold and added to salads or pasta dishes too.
- Bruschetta – Got some baguettes around? Toast them up in a warm oven. While they’re toasting, dice the tomatoes and mix them with olive oil, minced garlic, chopped basil, a dash of red wine vinegar and some salt and pepper. Delish! I even like to add some diced olives to my brushetta. Spoon it onto toasted bread pieces – one of my favorite appetizers of all time!
- Add to Pasta – simple, right? Make some pasta according to package directions, mix in some tomato slices, a little olive oil, some basil, maybe some capers and pine nuts and definitely some vegan parmesan.
- Cucumber Salad – another favorite, sliced tomatoes, cucumber slices, some vegan feta, and some Greek olives. Toss with a little Greek dressing or your favorite vinaigrette.
Ready for the last thing you can do with these cuties….
Bring some to your neighbors, your co-workers, or friends. Everyone loves fresh tomatoes and will be happy to receive some jewels from your garden!