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Aug 21, 2014 11:41 AM

Recipes for tomatoes NOT as the star ingredient?

Hi all!

So, I don't really like tomatoes. I've working on opening my palate up to them, but I'm not quite there yet. I don't like them raw, and I don't like them as tomato sauce or ketchup. However, through a lot of funny coincidences (CSA + aunt who was so proud of her tomatoes I couldn't refuse + surprise free tomatoes at the farmer's market), I've ended up with about 8 pounds of tomatoes! 5 pounds red tomatoes, 2 pounds gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, 1 pound cherry tomatoes.

I know you all are so creative - can you help me come up with some recipe ideas that use tomato to complement other flavors, rather than just tasting like tomato?

Some of my ideas so far:
batch of homemade barbecue sauce?
channa masala?
roasted carrot tomato bisque?

I'm convinced that this is the universe telling me to hurry up and start liking tomatoes, so I'm excited to try them in some different ways :)

Oh, and I tend toward the crazy-health-nut end of the spectrum... I eat mostly vegan and mostly no refined sugar or oils, so if you know of any healthier recipes that would be fantastic, but the key word is "mostly" so if there's a really great recipe idea with meat or cream or sugar etc, I'll still look at it!

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. My new favorite way to eat good tomatoes is to grill them. Cut them in half (remove the stem bit). Oil the grates a lil so they do stick. Put the halves on, cut side up, sprinkle with a tiny bit of good quality salt. Smoked if you have access to fancy salts but regular will do as well. Then just grill until a bit shriveled up. The skin slips right off on your plate and the tomato becomes this concentrated sweet delicious THING. You can do a whole bunch on a rack over a sheet pan in the oven as well. Not quite as good as the grill but its ok. If I get a bunch of tomatoes sometimes I will do this, slip off the skins and pop them all into a giant zip lock bag. Lay it as flat as possible in the freezer and freeze. In the winter you can break off pieces for some summer zing to your food.

    1. I like this chili sauce for our mostly beans, sometimes same fake meat, "chili"

      Tomatoes are required but it doesn't taste all that tomato-y with the other ingredients in there. Have you tasted the heirloom tomatoes? Depending on what they are, they can be quite a bit different from regular beefsteak type maters.

      1 Reply
      1. re: gourmanda

        Ohhhh chili, that's a good idea! Also, you're right. I am going to try a bit of each of the different types of heirloom ones raw, maybe I'll discover a great one! Thanks

      2. Tomato jam is like ketchup for grown ups and a batch takes 5 pounds. I cut the sugar in the recipe way way back since tomatoes are naturally sweet and its still awesome. Google for recipes.

        1. Tomato and egg curry is delicious especially with coconut milk.

          Do you like cherry tomatoes skewered and grilled with other veg( mushrooms, squash, eggplant) or tofu or tempeh?

          How about green beans slow braised in veg stock with onions , garlic and tomatoes( 4:1 beans to tomatoes )?

          1 Reply
          1. re: magiesmom

            I haven't been a fan of grilled cherry tomatoes before, but it may be worth a revisit. I think the slow braised green beans would be great to try! Thanks!

          2. tomatoes are great in a masala and definitely not the star

            likewise a mole sauce where tomatoes are really second to the chilies and spices - not sure what vegan you could put mole on - maybe a polenta or something

            8lbs is a lot of tomatoes - so you could process them - blanch, peel, seed and freeze them in smaller portions for use in future recipes

            on the lighter side a salad with avocado wil be a nice balance - maybe with quinoa and fresh herbs

            its hard, I LOVE tomatoes so I cant think how to "hide" them

            1 Reply
            1. re: JTPhilly

              I want to LOVE tomatoes too, I just have to convince my pesky taste buds to agree with my brain. :) 8 lbs is indeed a lot of tomatoes. Some of them probably will end up getting processed and frozen. Oh - maybe I can dry some like sundried tomatoes and use them in hummus or sandwiches or something!

              Also I've been wanting to try mole for a while but never have... maybe this is the chance!