Five Tasty Tomato Ideas
I’ve been seeing more and more little green tomatoes popping up on my tomato plant, which makes me very excited. However, when they come all at once, it can seem a little overwhelming to get them all eaten before they go bad.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this situation.
Here a few new things to try, instead of just sandwiches and salads, if you find yourself in a happy scenario where you have a surplus of tomatoes:
Make a three-ingredient sauce. Take 4 pounds of tomatoes, with stems and cores removed, 1 cup olive oil and 2 teaspoons of salt. Put it all in a pot over medium/low heat and let it cook for 30 minutes. It makes an amazing fresh tomato sauce. Once cooked you can blend it to your desired consistency, then add some herbs to really make this sauce your own.
Try a fresh pico de gallo. You really can’t do it wrong … just to taste. But a good, basic recipe is 2 cups each of tomatoes, white onions and green cabbage. Add 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, 1 cup of cilantro, ¼ cup lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of salt. Get to dicing and chopping, mix it all together and before you know it, you have a delicious dip for chips, or an awesome topping for tacos, grilled chicken or white fish.
Start your day with Shakshuka. I first heard of this dish while watching a cooking show, but it is definitely doable for a home cook. Sauté a chopped yellow onion, two chopped green peppers, and two minced garlic cloves in a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add in a teaspoon each of ground coriander and paprika, ½ teaspoon of cumin and a pinch of crushed red pepper (if you like heat). Once your veggies are tender add six chopped ripe tomatoes and ½ cup of tomato sauce. Let that simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes.
Then, use a wooden spoon to make six little indentations in your tomato sauce. Gently crack an egg and pour one into each spot in the sauce. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the egg whites are set. Sound like a lot of work in the morning? You can actually make the vegetable/tomato portion of the recipe in advance and just reheat and add the eggs in the morning.
Throw them in the oven for a roast. Alone or mixed with other veggies, roasted tomatoes have an amazing intense flavor. Combine a pound of tomatoes with 8 ounces of mushrooms, two zucchini, 10-12 peeled garlic cloves, a half-tablespoon of dried oregano, a tablespoon of dried thyme and salt and pepper. Coat it all with about ¼ cup of olive oil and throw it in the oven for about 20 minutes at 425 degrees F. This side dish will make you feel like you are sitting along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. If you are anything like me and resistant to turning on the stove in the summer, this recipe also works well on the grill.
Give stuffing a try. Keep them cool by stuffing cherry or grape tomatoes with your favorite hummus or guacamole for a fun popable appetizer. Or make them the main dish by stuffing larger tomatoes with a combination of grain, meat, cheese and spices – it’s quite good for you!
Lauren Cornay, RD, LN, is a registered dietitian at Avera Heart Hospital