5 Recipes for Your Garden-Fresh Tomatoes

If you’re fortunate, your backyard garden will produce more tomatoes than you can eat this season. To preserve that fresh summer flavor, get creative with these 5 recipes for your home-grown tomatoes.

Tomato Basil Soup
4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1 sliced onion
4 whole cloves
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white sugar

1. In a stockpot, over medium heat, combine the tomatoes, onion, cloves, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and gently boil for about 20 minutes to blend all the flavors. Remove from heat and run the mixture through a food mill into a large bowl. Discard any stuff left over in the food mill.

2. In the now empty stockpot, melt the butter over medium heat. Str in the flour to make a roux, cooking until the roux is medium brown. Gradually whisk in a bit of the tomato mixture, so no lumps form. Then, stir in the rest. Season with sugar and salt to taste.

Tomato Jam
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup good quality white wine vinegar
10 cups ripe tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt

1. In a 5-to-6-quart pot, combine the sugar, vinegar, and 1/4 cup water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture looks syrupy (about 5 minutes).

2. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

3. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down and the juice has thickened (1 1/2 to 2 hours).

4. Season to taste with salt. Let cool to room temperature, transfer to a jar, and refrigerate up to 2 months.

Homemade Tomato Ketchup
1 cinnamon stick (1 inch long), crushed
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
6 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
5 cups tomato purée
6 tablespoons chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Enclose the cinnamon, celery seed, pepper flakes, cloves, and allspice in a tea ball or cheesecloth pouch secured with twine. Pour the vinegar into a 1-quart saucepan and add the spices. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then, cover the pan and turn off the heat.

2. Put the tomato puree and onion in a heavy-duty 4-quart pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat to a medium low and simmer, stirring frequently to prevent scorching, until the onions are very soft and the flavors are melded (about 20 minutes). If you want very smooth ketchup, you can pass the mixture through a food mill.

3. Remove the spices from the vinegar and add the vinegar to the tomato mixture. Add the sugar and the salt and stir well. Continue to simmer until the ketchup is thick enough to spoon but still runny enough to pour (about 65 minutes). Cool to room temperature and refrigerate. The ketchup will keep for about 2 weeks.

Tomato Pie

1 9-inch-deep dish pie crust
4 large tomatoes, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 pound bacon, cooked, drained, and chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. In alternating layers, fill pastry shell with tomatoes, basil, scallions, bacon, garlic powder, oregano, and red pepper. In a small bowl, mix cheese with mayonnaise. Spread mixture over top of pie. Cover loosely with aluminum foil.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil from top of pie and bake an additional 30 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

Tomato Cheese Tart
7 sheets phyllo dough
1/3 cup olive oil
7 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
1 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
1 cup shredded fontina cheese
4 tomatoes, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Preheat oven 375 degrees. Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with oil and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon goat cheese. Keep remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap and a damp towel to prevent it from drying out. Repeat layers, brushing oil all the way to the edges.

2. Sprinkle onion over the top to within 1 inch of the edges and sprinkle with fontina cheese. Arrange tomato slices in a slightly overlapping patten over the fontina cheese. Sprinkle with chives, basil, salt, and pepper. Then, bring up the edges of tart over the filling.

3. Bake until the crust is golden brown (30-35 minutes).

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