Monday, July 25, 2011

I heart tomatoes

Did you know tomatoes are the most popular backyard garden vegetable/fruit? It's probably true, but I just made that up. Do you know anyone who has planted a garden and never tried to grow a tomato? Me neither. I look forward to the first ripe tomato of the summer as much as my kids look forward to Christmas morning. This year we planted fewer tomatoes than usual, about 4-6 plants, but it has still been enough to keep us tomato happy.

My dd and I have already canned 14 quarts of tomatoes to use for spaghetti sauce, soups and chili during the winter. She became an expert at dipping the tomatoes in boiling water to get the skins to crack, then I would peel and core, and she would fill the jars. We make a great team, especially when ds is away at Cub Scout camp. I like this recipe because although the processing time is enormous, the prep work is minimal.

Just when I think I could never eat another tomato, another batch turns red and ripe. Perfect for sharing with friends and neighbors. Or potential friends and neighbors. Here are some of our favorite fresh tomato recipes. I hope you enjoy these super easy recipes.

Stuffed Tomato
Combine 1 can tuna fish with some mayo, diced pickles and celery. Core 2 large tomatoes, hollow out some of the insides and stir with the tuna mixture. Spoon the tuna mixture into the tomatoes and serve.
This open-faced sandwich can have many variations. We like ours like this: Top a slice of bread with fresh basil leaves, tomato slices and mozzarella cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and starting to brown on the edges.
Bob and Larry Salad
Peel and chop 2 large cucumbers and about core and chop about 4 large tomatoes. The ratio of cukes and tomatoes should be equal. Add 2-3 TB olive oil, 2-3 TB apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and chopped fresh herbs. Try different combinations of herbs such as basil, parsley, chives, cilantro, oregano and thyme.
Why is it called Bob and Larry Salad?
A fancy name for a simple summer vegetable stew. Many variations of this recipe are available. I like this one, but I don't bother to saute each veggie separately. I just use one big pot. Start with some oil and cook the onions, peppers and garlic first, adding the eggplant and herbs next and squash and tomatoes after a few more minutes. I don't use nearly as much oil either.
And of course, there is the requisite BLT, because bacon makes everything better.
Enjoy the summertime tomatoes. There is nothing quite like them, not even Christmas morning.

This post is linked to Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesday.

No comments: