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Tomatoes - looking for new and exciting ideas.

I know you people have some good ideas. I'm pretty much looking for new recipes and uses and ideas for tomatoes. I've done the baked, boiled, smashed, smushed, squished, peeled, sauced, sliced, diced, spiced, dried, and souped.

Any and all suggestions are appreciated.

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  1. Are you growing the plants or buying the tomatoes in the store?

    If you are growing your own, here is a suggestion for 2 cultivars that do well together...Early Girl and Better Boy. My wife likes those two cultivars. We have a small garden so we grew 3 of each kind last year. WOW! WHAT A CROP! I alternated the 6 plants so that some hanky-panky would take place.

    There were lots of green tomatoes left on the plants late into the autumn. Being a kitchen experimenter, I tried something that I've never done before...pickled them. The tomatoes were cored and sliced. The pickling solution recipe was given to me by our daughter for bread and butter pickled cucumbers. That solution worked just fine with the green tomatoes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ChiliDude

      I tried growing but my green thumb gave up on my tomatoes and spent all its energy on habaneros.

      I am kind of a pickled items junkie. How'd the pickled tomatoes hold up/taste?

      1. re: hooliganyouth

        The pickled tomatoes were very good. There was such a great amount of them that they lasted several months. The vinegar must've kept them edible. I used them in sandwiches and with burgers instead of ripe tomatoes and pickle relish.

        I grow 2 cultivars of habaneros, Red Savinas and Chocolate Habaneros. Last years crop was a good one. I share pods with other obsessed chile people in the vicinity.

    2. Have you tried doing nothing? I love a good tomato ripe, one that is sun warmed and drips juice when you slice it or bite right into it, with no accoutrements at all. If you must add something, add just a sprinkle of salt or sugar, and a dash of balsamic. Even fancier: reduce the balsamic to a sweet syrup.

      If it's processed tomato you want, try tomato sorbet.

      2 Replies
      1. re: cimui

        That would be great in summer. I will occasionally toss tomato, mozzarella, basil, and basalmic together for a quick little salad.

        Do store bought tomatoes hold up to eating straight up with no embellishment?

        1. re: hooliganyouth

          Well, they do hold up, but probably not in the sense that you'd like. They are very hard.

          One of my fave ways to consume store boughts is to slice very thin and place over a slice of good melting cheese (muenster! Swiss!). The cheese should, in turn, rest on top of a lovely, fresh corn tortilla. Put this on a foil-lined cookie sheet, 4-6 to a sheet depending on how fast you think you can eat them--they must be eaten warm--and broil in the oven until bubbly and slightly browned. Turn down the heat if the tomato isn't cooking through before the cheese browns. Add a sprinkle of salt and garlic powder + some shredded basil if you want. They're simple, but oooh boy they're tasty.

          Cachumbar made with tomato, cucumber, red onion, paprika/red pepper, and toasted cumin seeds is also good. So is shepherd's salad / Israeli salad, though maybe the raw preparations are best left to the summer months.

          If you have many tomatoes to kill, you could always make ketchup.

      2. How about roasted? I roast em in the oven cut em in half, brush halves with EVOO then sprinkle kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, chopped fresh thyme, rosemary...bake in the oven for 2 hours...on a baking sheet lined with non stick foil.
        Then place tomatoes in a baking dish top with a crumble topping of flour, fresh breadcrumbs, melted butter, s & p and grated parmeasean cheese...bake 20 mins at 350..or make ahead put in refridge and add 20 mins to baking time..Mmm yummy!!

        6 Replies
        1. re: flipkeat

          Those sound awesome but bake for 2 hours? Wouldn't that turn them into mush? Albeit very tasty mush...that would be really tasty when spread on bread.

          1. re: hooliganyouth

            No hence the term "roasted". They do flatten out quite a bit lol...I use italian plum tomatoes...bake at 350 about 2 hours..until tops are shrivelled and bottoms are browned. Crumble topping 2/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs, 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup all purpose flour, 1/3 cup melted butter, couple shakes hot sauce. Mmm good

            1. re: hooliganyouth

              Roasted tomatoes should be done at a very low temperature, for a long time. Here's a link to a good recipe/method for slow roasting tomatoes:


              1. re: DanaB

                I find nothing wrong with 2 hours at 350....wonderful flavour less time!! Works for me!!

            2. re: flipkeat

              I make a tomato choka. Roast the tomatoes and 1 or 2 bulbs of garlic (depending on how many tomatoes you are using. I roast them with salt and vegetable oil. When they are cooled but still warm. I take the skins off of the by now almost, smashed potatoes and squeeze the pulp of the garlic.

              In a mortar with pestle or a food processor, pulse the tomatoes and garlic (be sure the include all the oil and juice drippings from the roasting pan). Add salt and pepper to taste, a dash of lemon juice.

              Remove from processor and stir in some chopped spring onions. Serve with pita bread or any flat bread or with steamed rice.

              1. re: CAN

                So simple, it sounds great. Where's it from?

            3. My very favorite thing (besides eating them raw) is tomato confit.

              Peel and seed the tomatoes. Cut them into strips 2-3" wide. Pat them dry with a paper towel, then salt them.

              Place in a baking dish with several smashed cloves of garlic. Cover with olive oil by about 1/2".

              Bake low and slow -- say, 200 for 45 - 60 minutes. Store in a jar in the fridge.

              Excellent on good bread with some good cheese.

              1. Yesterday we made Baked Chicken with Tomatoes. Recipe is here:

                I tweaked the tomato prep by not coring but did cut wedges. Put them in a bowl and seasoned with Kosher salt, ground black pepper, minced garlic, dry oregano, a drizzle of olive oil and Balsamic vinegar. Then I continued with the original recipe. I must say, the taste was phenominal. Plus some nice pan juices to sop up with crusty bread. At serving, I added steamed lima beans, au naturale, but I think fava would do just as well. The beans got flavored by the juices.

                I used "Backyard Beauties" a variety of organic tomatoes grown hydroponically in our area.

                1. Using heirloom tomatoes to make a tomatoe pie. It's kinda layered on a pie crust with onions, I use an eggplant spread, fresh basil and artichokes and whatever else sounds good. First you should oven roast the tomatoes in slices. Oh, and how could I forget, cheese! Yummy, I can't wait for the heirlooms at the local farmers market.

                  1. Tomato pie. Like a zucchni pie, but use diced, drained or roasted/sliced tomatoes, and ricotta. Diced, drained tomatoes sauteed w/garlic, shrimp and crumbled feta. And I noticed the tomato-mozzarella toss below...add some smashed garlic and minced parsley, let it sit @ an hour, toss with pasta, top w/ parmesan and/or ricotta salata.

                    1. At the risk of being repetitive, but hopefully repetition with a twist, and knowing you're a chile freak as well...this works great for getting some flavor out of subpar tomatoes in the off season. I quarter plum tomatoes (no need to peel or seed), slice thick wedges of onion, press a few cloves of garlic AND throw in a few SERRANOS** cut horizontally into two or three pieces each, sprinkle with a healthy pinch of sea salt, freshly cracked pepper and a few shakes of thyme leaves, toss the whole lot with good olive oil and roast at 450 until they smell done. The tomato skins get brown crinkly, and onions should be caramelized, some will have crispy edges. I let this go until it's almost burned sometimes, but not so burned that the juices are evaporated and/or blackened (that's a bummer). Don't crowd your pan too much, or the mixture will boil and braise, rather than roast; the tomatoes should have some space in a single layer. It's like a roasted tomato-chile jam when it's done. I put it in a jar in the fridge and eat it with everything. It's great cold in a green salad, it's great on toast, it's great as a filling for grilled cheese, it's great tossed with some feta and pulsed a couple of times with a food processor for a chunky dip for pita wedges or crudites, it's great on eggs, it's great as a panzanella, it's good on a spoon standing in front of your fridge looking for a midnight snack. It won't last long enough to try it in all the ways that it's good. The roasted tomato juices combine with the olive oil and the onion and garlic, and just that by itself scraped with a crusty piece of bread out of the cooking pan is delicious. Wow.

                      **NOTE: I used chocolate habaneros for this once, and it was overwhelming. Changed the character of the tomatoes too much. I like the heat and the flavor of serranos, because you can use more of them to get more of a chile flavor and texture since they're not KAPOW incendiary chilies.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: ballulah

                        Aye carumba. That sounds fantastic, ballulah. I'm trying this one.

                        1. re: cimui

                          One winter I made this every weekend, it was ever present in my fridge! That and hummus (also chile spiked and with some cilantro). One of my favorite midnight snacks was a thick slice of crusty bread, spread with some of the hummus, topped with some of the tomato-chile jam and sprinkled with some really good aged cheddar. Run it under the broiler until the cheese melts, and holy moly! Tell me how it turns out if you make it!

                      2. How about tomato pudding? http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                        Or stuffed tomatoes? http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip... (you can sub cheaper mushrooms, it's still good)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: piccola

                          Homemade pizza with fresh tomatoes is delicious! Once the dough is on the pizza pan, sprinkle with sea salt and then smear on a light coating of tomato paste. Then put on fresh slices of tomato, parm cheese, hot pepper, fresh basil, hunks of garlic, and cover with fresh mozz then bake.

                          Also, I love to make a pasta dish with fresh tomatoes that I let dissolve in olive oil. I just put fresh hunks of tomatoes in some olive oil and put on the lowest heat setting I can on the stove. I let it sit for a few hours until the tomatoes have broken down a bit, toss in some fresh basil, red peppers, green peppers, and then toss with pasta. Very light dish.