Fave tomato recipes for people who don't like them raw/plain?
I have an odd relationship with tomatoes.
Among things I love/crave/need on a regular basis: tomato-based pasta sauces, salsas, BBQ sauces, soups, etc. Yes, even ketchup. My judgment of pizza based places is often predicated on sauce rather than toppings/crust.
Yet for some reason, I really don't like them raw/plain - and usually I'll eat just about any other fruit/veggie unmolested. Anyone else in this boat?
Raw isn't exactly proper as I like to make uncooked salsas, so if they have some time to marinade/blend with other ingredients, they work. And having a slice mixed in with a burger is fine. But for whatever reason, I don't like them plain. I push aside big chunks when served on a salad... maybe it's the acidity or something else that doesn't work for my buds. But taking a slice, tossing on some seasoning, and grilling/cooking if on for a short time changes the equation... so maybe it's a chemistry thing?
In any case, I also started growing them last year and soon will be slammed with a huge crop (in Arizona, so yes, despite it being Feb. they are growing). Other than pasta/salsa sauces, do you have favorite uses for fresh tomatoes?
Also, since they tend to get happy at once, are there good ways to freeze them?
when faced with an overabundance of tomatoes and no time to roast them or cook them, you can just freeze them whole (washed) on a cookie sheet and then toss them into ziploc bags or freezer containers. Once thawed they're only good to be cooked, but the skins will slip right off.
Slow roast them, and then you can freeze them and use them whenever you want. Look up Alton Brown's recipe; it's on the internet in various places and in a book of his. Basically you get a load of tomatoes, cut them in half, place them cut side up on olive-oiled baking sheets (with or without racks), season them with salt, pepper, fresh cut herbs and some sugar. Then you put them in your oven at the lowest setting it has, and you leave them in there for over 8-15 hours, depending on their size and how dry you want them. They're heavenly--sweet and savory and full of flavor, and you can use them for soup and sauces or put them on a sandwich or in a salad. Seriously amazing.
When I was 5 there were no tomato's in the garden. I ate them all. One day I got ahold of a rotten one. The next 25 years, i only consumed tomatos in the form of sauce, salsa and ketchup. Then I started eating them on burgers. Once I grew good old fashioned heirloom Tomato's, I totally changed my mind.
Those red things in the store are NOT Tomato's. F1 Hybrids are OK I suppose... but if your growing red things just like the ones in the store.. your not really living.
I suspect you haven't been introduced to prime quality homegrown Hierlooms. Brandy Wine Tomatos will PROVE that tomato's are a fruit. Acedemic egg head types say they are fruit... but until you eat a Brandy Wine... your taste buds wont believe it, and why should they. I have had Brandy Wines that taste like Hawaiin Punch. Green Zebra's taste almost like Granny Smith Apples. Just about ANY black Tomato is good too.
- tomato tart
- panzanella (bread salad)
- fried green tomatoes (if you harvest any green ones)
- stuffed (try a mixture of good oil-packed tuna, capers, pine nuts, garlic, lemon juice, fresh herbs, grated parm, s&p)
oven-roasting also concentrates the flavor and intensifies the sweetness.
when you have really good fresh sweet summer tomatoes, you'll love them with just a little bit of kosher salt. or, the easiest and most obvious is served sliced with fresh bufala mozzarella, or burrata, and a chiffonade of fresh basil. drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt - YUM! or my other fave, toast up some good bread in olive oil (yes, you are frying bread) rough chop your tomatoes tomatoes and mix with fresh minced garlic and the aforementioned olive oil, basil and salt, serve on top of the crisp bread. SO GOOD! i can't wait for summer!!!