HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Your Favorite Fresh Tomato Recipes

  • e

With an embarassment of tomatoes at every farmers market, what are you doing with the bounty? I typically buy a 20# box of seconds that have to be used right away. What is nice now is that farmers are starting to sell boxes of heirlooms mixed in wtih the regular beefsteaks and others because they're growing so many.

For the most part, I will fill a roasting pan with halved and seeded and cored tomatoes, sprinkle with evoo, sea salt and pepper, mix and then roast at 450 for 45 minutes, stir, and roast another 45 minutes. What comes out can be eaten as is over pasta or on good bread, pureed for soup, or frozen for later use in the winter in soups and sauces. You can add thickly sliced onions and whole cloves of garlic if you want all of the flavor elements in one place for sauce making. It can be run through a food mill or not. Much of the time I just pick out the larger pieces of skin after its cooled. Eggplant and red peppers are also good additions. There is no wrong way to do this.

Today's sandwich was fresh bread, fresh moz and a brandywine tomato - all from this morning's market.

I'm also taking big tomatoes, slicing 1 1/2 thick,, placing in a roasting pan so that the sides touch, topping with bread crumbs, parmesan, S&P, and drizzle with olive oil and baked at 375 until they look done. Wonderful as a side with fish or grilled meats, or as a main course with other fresh grilled veggies.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I hadn't thought of adding onions to the roasting, but will try it now. And I'm going to try your gratin too.

    I'm about to make pole beans (or Roma beans -- in Italian they are called fagioli al corallo among other things, flat green beans eaten whole) stewed with onion and fresh tomato (and hot pepper). I'm also going to make peperonata with tomatoes -- sauté onion, add sweet pepper cut in pieces, add peeled cut up tomatoes. Big thing this summer at our house has been panzanella with feta. Cut up a lot of tomatoes into large cubes (or halve the little ones). Put them in a salad bowl with salt and oil to develop some juice. Meanwhile take some stale bread (like what you were saving for bread crumbs), soak it in water, drain, squeeze it out, crumble it into the tomatoes (large crumble, or any way you like). Mix, add extra-virgin olive oil, and add chopped or sliced red sweet onion or green onion and optionally cucumber pieces and/or olives, and finally crumble the feta on top.
    I'm also making a LOT of bruschetta al pomodoro, fresh tomato sauce for pasta, pasta e fagioli with fresh tomatoes, and, of course, insalata caprese. Nothing revolutionary here, but if it ain't broke ...

    1. Mi piace la insalata Caprese!

      That's "I like Capri salad" which is combination of sliced garden ripened tomatoes, sliced fresh mozzarella, shredded fresh basil drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Our tomatoes have been ripening since the end of July, and we've dining on this salad while we have garden fresh tomatoes. When the tomato growing season is gone, we need to wait until next year for this delicacy.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ChiliDude

        That's my feelings exactly. Nothing better than sitting out on the deck on a nice summer day eating it.


        1. re: ChiliDude

          I lived on Caprese all last weekend.

          nothing says the dog days of summer like Caprese. I even got to the point where I tried making my own mozzarella, but got ricotta (which was good, just not mozzarella)

        2. my favorite recipe for fresh tomatoes:

          a knife and a salt shaker.

          1. I made a nice Gazpacho, chopped not blended. Pasta Checca ( tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, parmeseana, mozzarella, and angel hair pasta). Pickled tomatoes, tomato chutney, tomato juice. I have about 10 lbs of grape tomatoes waiting to be picked today.

            1. 1) Sliced, some basil, fleur de del, pepper, balsamico, olive oil. Great salad.

              2) Peeled, seeded, chopped, and put into a pan with butter, diced garlic, salt and pepper. Then cooked till all you have left is the concentrated essence of the tomato. Great stirred into risotto or pasta.

              1. Boil water, and have an ice bath at hand as well.

                Blanch the tomatoes, plunge into ice water. Peel the tomatoes, quarter and seed them. Cut the quarters again in half.

                Blanch, skin, and slice an amount of fresh peaches equal to the amount of tomatoes.

                Toss the peach and tomato slices with a little bit of sliced red onion, salt, pepper, Olive Oil and raspberry vinegar.

                This is a summer salad!

                1. I love cherry or grape tomatoes from the farmers market. I usually buy a couple of pints and make a salad out of them. I throw a couple pints of small tomatoes (assorted colors if possible) in a bowl along with some cucumber that has been peeled and seeded and some thinly sliced sweet onion. I toss the whole thing in a homemade vinaigrette that has a bit more vinegar than usual and toss in some cilantro. This salad goes great with grilled steaks.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: jpc8015

                    Try adding French feta, kalamata olives, red onion and even orzo to your mix. Great alone or as a side with anything!

                    1. re: Ellen

                      Orzo would be great! I think I will do that.

                  2. I am loving homemade panzanella these days....my favorite version is diced fresh tomatoes mixed with red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, fresh basil, touch of minced garlic and a little sugar to balance acidity. While that macerates/blends in flavor, I make homemade croutons- just cubes of stale bread and olive oil toasted up till well browned.

                    Mix and eat immediately. This alone can be dinner for me.

                    Another decadent use for tomatoes is basically your last recipe- thick slices of tomatoes topped with bread crumbs/Parmesan- and using this as a topping for homemade macaroni and cheese. Achingly good.....

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: 4Snisl

                      I'm with you about the panzanella, I never tire of it but I love fresh squeezed lemon juice and I enjoy celery over cuks, my latest is added any leftover corn from the cob - soooo fresh and clean.

                      1. Have not made, though I read this on a food blog http://mllenoelle.wordpress.com/ and hope to make it soon:

                        Summer Tomato Pudding à la Judy Rodgers

                        about 2 1/2 lbs very ripe tomatoes (if you can get heirlooms, the color variations make for an even more attractive dish
                        )8 oz. day-old bread, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
                        1 cup olive oil
                        3 tbs sherry vinegar (or sub red wine vinegar)
                        1 clove garlic
                        1 medium shallot, minced
                        1/2 a small cucumber (about 3 oz), peeled, seeded and diced
                        about 1/4 cup minced fresh herbs of your choice
                        salt and pepper

                        Preheat the broiler. Put the bread in a single layer on a couple cookie sheets and run under the broiler until lightly browned (on one side only). Cut the garlic clove in half and rub all the toasted surfaces with it. Brush the nontoasted side lightly with water and place in a bag to steam and soften.

                        Whisk together the oil and vinegar; set aside. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise, place them cut sides down, and slice thinly. Pick out the shoulders and bottom end pieces and chop them. Place them in a mesh strainer, salt them, and squish them through the strainer over the vinaigrette to release their juice; discard. Add any juice that collects on the cutting board to the vinaigrette as well.

                        Build the pudding in a dish or bowl with a capacity of about 1 1/2 quarts. You're going to be weighting down the pudding, so choose a dish into which a flat object such as a plate or lid will just fit. Start with a layer of bread, cutting or tearing it so it completely covers the bottom of the dish without overlapping. Continue with a layer of tomatoes, overlapping those very closely like shingles. Sprinkle on some shallots and herbs and a touch of salt and pepper, then drizzle on a few tbs. of the vinaigrette. Add another layer of bread, pressing down to encourage the tomatoes to release their juice. Repeat layers, ending with a layer of tomato. You should have a few spoonfuls of vinaigrette left over; save this, along with any leftover herbs, shallots etc. for garnish. Poke the pudding randomly with a skewer or a meat fork.

                        Cover with parchment paper or plastic, then place a plate or other flat object on top, and weight it down with cans or whatever you have handy (you'll want a weight of at least a couple pounds). Set aside at room temperature.
                        After about an hour, remove the weight and check the pudding by sliding a knife down the side of the dish; the pudding should ooze. Taste the juice. If it seems too dry, drizzle some more vinaigrette over the top and down the sides. Press the pudding again until ready to serve.

                        To serve, remove the weights, run a knife around the edges, and invert the pudding onto a serving plate, rapping the bottom of the dish if it won't release. Pesent whole, and then cut into wedges (I found a serrated knife works best). Garnish with any remaning sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs (or, if you like, a few scattered cherry or grape tomatoes).

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: sixelagogo

                          Wow. This looks interesting. Not baked? Kind of reminds me of a bread salad? What is this like?

                          1. re: karykat

                            no idea, but i thought it looked and sounded fabulous....kinda breadsalad meets awesome.

                        2. Here's a link to my favorite: http://wiki.ottawafoodies.com/doku.ph... Only, don't add the mozzarella first. When I do that it always turns out gummy and stringy. I add the fresh tomato sauce and then the mozzarella. This one's even better the next day.

                          1. How's this for easy? Get locally grown fresh tomatoes, slice, & dollop with Marie's Chunky Feta Cheese Dressing. (has no preservatives) You will not believe how yummy this is. Find the dressing in the refrigerated section of the produce dept at, say, Tom Thumb or Kroger.

                            1. I make a version of a Caprese that is 2 beefsteak tomato thick slices with goat cheese & home made tapenade in between them and basil sprinkled over the top & a honey vinagrette drizzled on. I also have a great bread salad recipe that I got from the LA Times years ago that uses cornbread & lots of cilantro along with the tomatoes.

                              1. A southern classic you will either love or hate...

                                TOMATO MAYONNAISE SANDWICHES

                                Take two pieces of great sandwich bread (originally should be white bread but I like a good rustic bread), slather them with either homemade mayo or Hellman's/Best Foods only. Lots of salt and pepper and fresh sliced tomatoes. The sandwich should drip down your arm if made with the proper tomatoes. Otherwise, there is no point.

                                Another addition, very 'white trash' are potato chips, on the sandwich. I like this, too, but usually eat the purist version.

                                When all the ingredients are good, there are few things better than this.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Tom P

                                  Oh Tom P, that's the best way to enjoy a fresh juicy summer tomato!
                                  I toast a big fat onion-y bialy, slather with Hellman's mayo and a thick slice of tomato and call that lunch! Maybe an onion...if I'm enjoying solo :)

                                  1. re: Tom P

                                    Tom, how can you make this "southern classic" without Duke's mayo? :) I'm a Yankee and proud to say I learned about Duke's from alkapal here on Chowhound:

                                    Serious biz, check out Duke's. I ate Hellman's all my life and didn't realize it gets even better than that! I also agree tomato sandwiches are a lovely way to showcase fresh tomatoes. I throw fresh basil on there, too, since it's growing on the deck. Yum, yum, yum!

                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                      I've never even heard of Dukes! If I can find it in Southern California, I will definitely give it a try!

                                    2. re: Tom P

                                      I have one for dessert every night, only I toast & butter my bread.

                                      1. re: Tom P

                                        I was born and raised in the Deep South, but I'm a convert to this stuff:


                                        I use the Lite version, and it is still awesome. Especially on a tomato sandwich made as specified. Although even though I'm a salt and pepper addict, I make my tomato sandwiches without either. Just good bread, Lemonaise, and proper tomatoes. Completely agree about dripping down the arm being an indicator of correctness.

                                      2. There was that piece by Harold McGee last summer (?) in the NYT with a copy at his website curiouscook.com showing how much of the tomato flavour is in the seeds and the jelly stuff around them. I found they do indeed have a lot of flavour. If it is something I really don't seeds in, I at least seed them over a sieve and push the jelly stuff through into the dish I'm making.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: cinnamon girl

                                          They discussed this on ATK when making cherry tomato salad, saying there was a lot of flavor in the gel. First the quartered cherries were macerated in salt and sugar, then spun in a salad spinner. The goop went through a sieve to remove the seeds, with the liquid then reduced and used as part of the dressing.

                                          1. re: greygarious

                                            Oh thanks, GG. Or should I write Gigi? teehee. I'm glad the word is getting out b/c I used to kind of cringe at how cavalierly the poor little tomato is gutted . . . I would casually try to keep some of that gel - now I keep it all and just discard the peel. That said, the other day I made the Hazan tomato-butter sauce and pushed the gel thru a sieve, leaving the seeds behind and it was a bit more mucking around than I expected. Might do it again with seeds and all "just to see". Apparently Harold McGee and Heston Blumenthal worked on that together (or I inferred that from HMG's article and one HB's tv shows). I like how ATK always gives up some practical applcns of these good findings.

                                            Do you see any potential for fried green tomatoes on the waffle iron btw? Too late now for green . . . but for next year. My waffle iron is getting quite the work out! Any new discoveries?

                                        2. anytime i get out of town and have a bonfire or campfire, i have tomato and onion wrapped in foil ready to throw by the edge of the flames and left there for at least fifteen minutes. eat them any way you want, they'll balways be good and they go with almost any fireside beverage.

                                          1. After watching The Barefoot Contessa yesterday, I had to make In'as Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart. It was really delicious. I pretty much followed the recipe, but after reading the comments I decided to cut the puff pastry into rectangles to use it more efficiently, since I wasn't making it for company. I also used boursin for half of the tarts because, sadly, half of my family dislikes goat cheese. I also cut the kernels off of an ear of corn and added it on top of the tomatoes, before adding the parmesan topping and the basil. I forgot to brush evoo on the tomatoes, but it was still terrific.

                                            I would definitely recommend this recipe. It was beautiful (although maybe not quite as beautiful as Ina's) and a really nice way to use summer's bounty. My whole family thought it was awesome. Grilled skin-on chicken thighs marinated in lemon-thyme viniagrette were nice along side.

                                            I also would suggest that, if you have access to it, you use all-butter puff pastry. It adds delicious flavor.


                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: bear

                                              Fresh Tomato Pie
                                              Pate Brisee type pastry shell in fairly deep 10 inch pie shell; Prebake 10 min at 450 degrees.
                                              6 medium tomatoes, sliced
                                              several basil leaves, torn
                                              1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
                                              1 1/2 cup shredded white cheddar cheese
                                              salt, pepper, and flour
                                              Pat the tomatoes dry with paper towels,
                                              Place one layer over pre baked crust, sprinkle with salt, pepper, basil and flour.
                                              Add second and third layer of tomatoes and repeat above instructions.
                                              Mix together mayo and cheese and spread over tomatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
                                              Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
                                              (I have also added sauteed mushrooms to the tomato layers, which is good)
                                              Sorry it's not one of my healthier recipes. Falls into the category of sounds weird, but is really good !

                                              1. re: donali

                                                No actually, it sounds fabulous. ..sort of like a hot dip and a tart all in one. Yum!

                                            2. The Best BLTs off of epicurious: basically, a BLT with a basil mayonnaise. Fabulous.

                                              This recipe from Orangette for tomatoes stuffed with a sort of tomato risotto and baked. Wonderful and really easy: http://orangette.blogspot.com/2008/09...

                                              Anyone else grow up eating tomatoes sprinkled with sugar? We always did, my mom said it was German, and I still love it.

                                              1. Not exactly a fresh tomato recipe but the last two mornings I've had BLT's for breakfast with garden fresh tomatoes and they were unbelievable.


                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: Davwud

                                                  Now that's an idea...BLT's for breakfast. I made bacon, egg and cheese on whole-grain English, but had a few tomatoes that are getting a bit ripe. Should have used them up. Tomorrow's an at-home quick breakfast, so maybe we'll just have those BLT's.

                                                  1. re: bear

                                                    I love BLT"S for breakfast, I usually add some avocado as well. Got's to get me some bacon this week!!!

                                                  2. re: Davwud

                                                    BLTs. With good bacon on good bread, with mayo. One of the truly great things I've been enjoying all summer. Breakfast, lunch or dinner. Don't know how I forgot to put that at the top of my list, followed closely by my tomato, fresh moz and pesto sandwich. I'd also recommend a sliced tomato served with good old bacon and eggs. MMM. And gazpacho too. Epicurious has an Andalusian gazpacho recipe that I just tried. It was quite different from my standard gazpacho and I thought it was excellent. Do strain it (or at least most of it) and let it sit and chill for a few hours. By the next day the garlic starts to take over at the expense of the fresh tomato flavor so don't let it sit around too long.


                                                  3. marinate roughly chopped tomatoes (juices, seeds and all), in some olive oil, a little cider vinegar, salt and pepper. then eat it on the side of...well, anything. so simple and yummy.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: jhfinxy

                                                      Sounds pretty similar to what I was going to say.
                                                      My fave thing is tomato sliced up, with chopped basil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. That's it! It's so good as a side dish but when no-one's looking I just eat it with a spoon :)

                                                    2. I love fresh tomatoes, I enjoy them cooked and fresh.

                                                      Fresh creamy tomato and basil soup
                                                      Pizza margarita
                                                      BLT with thick pepper bacon
                                                      Tomato risotto
                                                      Tomato gratin with fontina and basil/.toasted garlicky bread crumbs
                                                      Pasta pomadoro- probably spelled that wrong
                                                      Tomato, fresh mozzerella, basil with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (thick kind)
                                                      Tomato, red onion, garlic, basil and gorganzola warmed and stuffed into a soft warm pocket bread
                                                      Stuffed tomatoes with shrimp and celery, onion, and arugula dressed in blue cheese vinagrette
                                                      Tomatoes Provence - stuffed with garlic and bread crumbs parsley, onion and drizzled with olive oil.
                                                      Not a fan of panzanella..might as well make soup out of it.

                                                      1. Here is another terrific one... TOMATO BREAD PUDDING ... if it sounds as wonderful to you as it did to me, the recipe will not disappoint. Killer:


                                                        1. Here are my favorite recipes which involve fresh tomato:
                                                          - guacamole: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easy-Gua...
                                                          - tomato and avocado salad: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Tomato-a...
                                                          - caprese salad: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Caprese-...
                                                          - bruchetta with tomato and basil: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/brus...

                                                          1. an amusing parallel thread might be titled

                                                            "How did you possibly go horribly wrong using the best fresh tomatoes you could find? recipes encouraged"

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: hill food

                                                              That was the point of this thread! BTW, have you had the fried green tomatoes at Founding Farmers? Thank god I don't have that recipe. I think the next thread should, so what the heck do you do with all those tomatoes that won't ripen properly now?

                                                              1. re: Ellen

                                                                pickalilly, sun dry? (while protected from those damn squirrels of course). actually I should set up a frame for that, my deck faces South - thanks for the spark, I gauge we have a week or 3 left of the good stuff. Frager's Hardware watch out. hope you're stocked with screening.

                                                                otherwise, I dunno any neighbors piss you off lately?

                                                                I haven't been to Founding Farmers yet, I just don't get out as much as I'd like lately and heard too many iffy things.

                                                            2. http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/200...

                                                              I like making this sauce. Goes with anything. I made some pizzas, GF made some passada(sp?), but it goes quick.