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Real fresh, delicious tomato decadence, how would you splurge???

OK, so I was off in the land of delicious tomatoes and I couldn't help myself: I overbought. (I'm sure you'll understand when you realize I live at over 7000 feet in the Rockies and home grown tomatoes are scarce in August, let alone the beginning of July.)

Anyway, in my enthusiasm, I bought 5 pounds of these perfectly ripe beauties. I've eaten about one fifth of them sliced or out of hand (and enjoyed every slurping moment), but I think they may turn on me before I munch through them at this rate.

So what would you do? I'm kind of thinking gazpacho, but don't have a killer recipe; do you? I am also VERY open to other ideas. (Caprese is probably out because I only have access to rubber mozzarella and sub-standard basil.) Sharing is an option, lol.

Thanks from your pal the blissful tomato pig.

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  1. IMHO you can't go wrong with tomatoes, 2 slices of white toast and a smear of either mayo or Miracle Whip. Trashy, Summer decadence.

    Or, depending on what else you have kicking around, roasted ratatouille is perfect for it: http://yummysmells.blogspot.com/2009/...

    2 Replies
      1. re: nofunlatte

        +2, but Miracle Whip is bane of my existence. Use Mayo so you can taste the tomato, and not just sugary Miracle Whip glop.

    1. I just got a small bushel of tomatoes from my local farmer that all had a bad spot or two, who cares for $2? He was amazed when I told him what I planned. I went right home, poured some cheap olive oil over, adding just a little salt and pepper and garlic powder (most people would use fresh garlic but too much trouble for me) and put them in the convection oven for about an hour at 400 degrees, stirring whenever I noticed a little blackening. I am now going to boil some pesto filled tortellini (Trader Joes) and mix with the tomatoes and some fresh herbs from the garden and I am sure it will be one of the most memorable meals of the summer. Served hot tonight and cold leftovers tomorrow. I"ve done this with tomatoes before and it freezes beautifully too.

      3 Replies
      1. re: coll

        That sounds delish and so easy! I'll have to remember that when I overbuy in a few short weeks.

        1. re: irishnyc

          I just put the water on to boil, I'll let you know any tweaks later!

          1. re: coll

            Found some proscuitto sitting around and sauteed it first til crispy, and it ended up being an entire meal. A little bland at first, but addition of red pepper flakes and some parmesan cheese solved that.

        1. re: c oliver

          The other night for a little dinner party, I just sliced some tomatoes and Vidalia onions and some basil on top. Along with corn, squash casserole and leg of lamb done on the grill, it was a great summertime dinner.

        2. Marcella Hazan's Tomato Sauce 1 or 2 recipe.

          1 Reply
          1. re: visciole

            I've only fixed the one with butter and onion and only used canned. Fresh, really good tomatoes would put something really good into another realm, I'm sure.

          2. There just isn't any such thing as too many tomatoes.

            Tomato sandwiches, fried tomatoes (in the fried tomatoes thread Givemecarbs passed on the idea for tomato gravy that uses the odds and ends and juices of the tomato), marinara, spinach tomato pie, salsa, rosa sauce . . .

            I love to marinate sliced tomatoes in olive oil, with minced garlic and fresh herbs. I use them on bread and pizza. I've also used them in a summer grinder that pairs the tomatoes with grilled veggies (asparagus, red pepper and onion) and cheese in an italian roll that is baked until the cheese melts.

            Overbought? Nay.

            1 Reply
            1. re: onceadaylily

              plus one on the tomato pie! My favorite way to eat tomatoes!

            2. Make a simple tomato sauce and freeze it. You'll be thrilled in December. :)

              1. Yesterday, I made a simple warm tomato salad with garden fresh tomatoes sliced about an inch thick; I added a little olive oil to a skillet over medium low heat, added the tomato slices and cooked about a 1.5 minutes total (turn over to warm the second side). I sprinkled some oregano on top and slid them onto a plate. Drizzle remaining olive oil from
                the skillet over top and add a crumble of queso fresco. Simple, delicious! You can add any type of cheese you like.

                1. 5 pounds of tomatoes ~~ Pardon me if I smile. ~~ I've got probably 40 pounds on the kitchen counter, am running low on jars, and they need picking after supper.

                  A few salads, (green or pasta) BLT's, tomato sandwiches, hamburgers, and various other sandwiches plus some good ideas already given should clean them up nicely...

                  If not...Cook breakfast! 2 Eggs, Grits, Bacon, Toast, and sliced tomato! A summertime favorite at my house. Fabulous breakfast food!

                  Get busy, Have Fun, and enjoy your tomatoes!!! :))

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Uncle Bob

                    Slice them thick and fry thrm in the bacon grease. One of my dad's. Mmmmm.

                    1. re: buttertart

                      Gonna turn them into future Bloody Mary's.....Tomato juice first however.;)

                  2. gazpacho, tomato bread (just rub the ends of a tomato on toasted, crusty bread..so good), a raw tomato sauce for pasta, and of course just sliced with olive oil and salt.

                    mmm tomatoes.

                    1. italian bread salad -- panzanella http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                      gazpacho (just saw the recipe for CI's creamy gazpacho that looked good). http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/719900

                      and when they're past their prime, make tomato gravy with a bacon grease (or butter) roux and chopped tomatoes and their juices and a little water if you need it. some folks add chopped onions and cook them with the tomatoes. serve over white rice. some serve it on biscuits or toast, or plain white bread. some crumble crisp bacon on top. it is good eating.

                      ~~~
                      but i could eat a tomato sandwich every day, with mayo on squishy white bread.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: alkapal

                        Salsa and Pico de Gallo both freeze very well too.

                        1. re: thymetobake

                          I couldn't disagree with you more. I'd never freeze those. Fresh is fresh. That to me is the point of them.

                      2. You can also slow-roast them and freeze them: http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/08/slo... or totally oven dry them and store them in the pantry (I do this every year with my extras and they kick major flavour into everything year-round): http://yummysmells.blogspot.com/2008/...

                        1. Fresh salsa! Chop into a fine dice with a sharp knife: tomatoes, serranos, sweet and red onion, orange bell pepper. Then add sweet corn, fresh minced garlic, cilantro, a generous squeeze of lime juice and salt to taste. A little olive oil mixed in is probably not traditional but helps to round out the flavors. Serve with fresh fried tortilla chips (if you don't want to bother with deep frying, warming up some good store-bought brand under the broiler produces a credible chip).

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: RealMenJulienne

                            Seconding the fresh salsa! And you could jar it too and eat it whenever you get the urge.

                          2. I really LOVE this recipe of Tyler Florence for Roasted Tomato Soup. I make 2 batches at a time (2.5 lbs of tomatoes for each pot) and give some away. It's easy and delicious.

                            http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ty...

                            1. I broke my blender making this gazpacho on a weekly basis: http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/... It's wonderful and super easy.

                              Then there's checca, the Italian version of salsa. Chop up the tomatoes with onion and fresh basil. Lots and lots of fresh basil. Add chopped garlic or I like Alice Water's garlic puree. Pile it on toasted bruchetta rubbed wtih raw garlic.

                              Ratatouille with fresh tomatoes is what summer is about.

                              Anything left over, halve and put in a roasting pan. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper and a bit of sugar. Put them in a hot 400˚-450˚ oven and roast until they get blistery and brown. Pack them in jars with olive oil and put them in the fridge for sandwiches or whatever. Or put them in freezer bags and store them for a soup base or just enjoying in the winter when no one else remembers decent tomato flavor.

                              1. Stuffed tomatoes! Anything you stuff into a mushroom, a pepper or any other vegetable and more is great in a tomato.

                                First I almost always gut the tomatoes over a bowl to save all the juices, core and extra bits that I chop or smash then pour hot buttered pasta over, give it a stir and some salt and dig in. So very fresh and simply delicious. That tomato gravy alkapal talks about up thread would be another great use and would be great with a stuffed tomato.

                                Cold/room temp: I love the small tomatoes even up to two bites stuffed with finely diced greek salad (no tomato), tuna or chicken salad or a grain salad (cous cous is really nice) or a filling of crumbled bacon, finely diced romaine ribs and mayo, maybe avocado w/ a spritz of citrus - these work great packed for lunches or for finger foods. The large tomatoes look so elegant seated on a lightly dressed bead of greens. Sometimes I will salt and broil the interior for a few minutes before stuffing if I'm feeling really ambitious.

                                Hot: Anything seems to work and again I sometimes broil the interior a bit before stuffing and baking, especially if its an egg filling. Favorites are omelet/frittata type stuff or just a egg or two is good. For more main meal types we've liked a stuffing of italian sausage, peppers and onions with breadcrumbs and egg (maybe ricotta or mascarpone), topped w/ parm and herbs. A stuffing of cornbread crumbs, Jimmy Dean sage sausage, celery and onion, and egg. A stuffing of chorizo sausage, rice and beans w/onion. For the smaller tomatoes - spinach artichoke w/breadcrumbs and parm, or luscious crab dip or even chorizo and velveta broiled to perfection.

                                11 Replies
                                1. re: just_M

                                  You've got lots of good suggestions here, here's one not mentioned: Make a fresh/uncooked tomato sauce for pasta. Just dice up a pound of tomatoes (seeded), toss with 1/4 to 1/2 cup finely chopped basil, 3 cloves garlic, minced. Gently stir in 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Toss hot pasta with the tomato mixture and serve.

                                  1. re: janniecooks

                                    I also grate the Parm in with that prior to adding the pasta.

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      Also good with bits of fresh mozzarella or goat cheese instead of or in addition to the Parm. Gets a bit melty when it hits the hot pasta. I always like capers in there for a bit of piquancy, and sometimes add sliced raw mushrooms. I like to let it all marinate an hour or so before I add the cheese and cook the pasta.

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          You've got to love tomatoes and pasta for the many, many ways they will take you there. But capers will kick me over the edge every time. Salty briney goodness!

                                          1. re: just_M

                                            I do think that saltiness is the key to success. A counterpoint to sweetness.

                                    2. re: janniecooks

                                      LOVE this combo of sweated fresh tomatoes and basil with pasta! I particularly like it with the sunny citrusy flavor of yellow tomatoes (is there are reason the Italians named them pomma(apple)doro(golden)?) A splash of vodka doesn't hurt much either.

                                      1. re: rainey

                                        ouzo with tomatoes, feta and shrimp is quite lovely!

                                      2. re: janniecooks

                                        Mmm, balsamic is always a favorite.

                                        1. re: janniecooks

                                          Ohh, YUM. I need to try this ASAP; I'm actually favoriting this page.

                                      3. If you have freezer space, you can freeze them just as they are, a few in a plastic freexzer bag at a time. Run the frozen ones under warm water and the peels come right off. Great for sauce or other cooked applications.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: buttertart

                                          A woman after my own functionally, lazy heart. This is brilliant buttertart! So simple you can't put it off.

                                          1. re: just_M

                                            It was my mom's idea, actually. Why futz with them all at the same time when you can have them ready to go when you need them? (She used to make a bushel of tomatoes into Canadian-style chili sauce every August for about 30 years in an unairconditioned house. What a misery. Then she wised up!)

                                        2. I completely understand! The fragrance of a good tomato is dangerous, and can lead to EWS (Empty Wallet Syndrome).

                                          Gazpacho would be great; here's Ina Garten's: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/in...

                                          I'd also make a big pot of homemade pasta sauce, and freeze it in small portions, so you can eat it all winter long.

                                          1. You could make the Turkish dish, Aci Domates Ezmesi (It's killer!)

                                            4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
                                            1 T. EVOO
                                            1 onion, finely chopped
                                            1-2 hot green chilies, finely chopped
                                            juice of 1/2 lemon
                                            2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
                                            handful parsley, finely chopped
                                            salt and pepper to taste
                                            a few mint leaves, finely chopped (optional)

                                            Sprinkle tomatoes with 1/2 t. kosher salt and leave to drain in a sieve for 1 hour. With the back of a spoon, force as much liquid as possible from the tomatoes. (Drink the juice!)

                                            Mix everything together and serve as a condiment with fish or meat, or as a dip for pita chips.