by Erin Marissa Russell
Harvesting tons of tomatoes from your garden and looking for some new recipes and ways to cook them? You’re not alone. Once you’ve experienced the delicious flavor of a fresh, homegrown tomato, you may just be spoiled forever on anything less. Once you’re spoiled to the luxury of tomatoes fresh from the garden, it makes sense to plant as many as your setup will allow—and that means you’re bound to have a huge harvest when those tomatoes start to ripen.
Of course, enjoying fresh tomatoes doesn’t require a background in the culinary arts. Many of your homegrown tomatoes will likely be enjoyed still warm from the sun, sprinkled with sea salt and flecked with cracked black pepper. And there are plenty of beloved ways to cook with tomatoes that are probably in your regular rotation.
Sometimes, though, you’re just bored of the same old routine and have a hankering for something new. For times like these, we’ve rounded up this list of the best recipes to use the tomatoes you grow in your garden. Whatever you’re hungry for, we know you’ll find a dish that hits the spot.
Highlight the Flavor of Homegrown Tomatoes with Uncomplicated Preparation Techniques
Homegrown tomatoes are so delicious, they don’t need a lot of added ingredients or time and attention from the chef to be a hit on the dinner plate. The recipes listed here showcase the fresh flavor of tomatoes from your garden with streamlined, unfussy cooking methods. These minimalist ways to serve tomatoes really let the full-bodied flavor of tomatoes from your garden shine through, making the most of your harvest with each bite.
Turn Homegrown Tomatoes into Five-Star Italian Cuisine
Italians have been cooking with tomatoes for centuries, despite the surprising fact that tomatoes are not native to Italy. Be that as it may, the tomato is a ubiquitous part of Italian cooking and is the first ingredient most people think of when they crave Italian food. Whether you’re searching for a main dish starring tomatoes or a side that will let them shine, you’ll find plenty to love in this list of ideas.
Celebrate Fresh Tomatoes with Down-Home Southern Dishes
There’s just one other culinary tradition that can compete with Italian food when it comes to honoring the tomato: Southern cuisine, from Cajun cooking to soul food. Southerners know how to treat a tomato, pairing them with creamy grits and rich cheese or folding them into rustic casseroles. Get inspired to serve up your garden’s bumper crop of tomatoes with the Southern recipes below.
Enjoy Your Garden’s Tomatoes in Comforting Soups
For a simple lunch on a busy day or a warming bowl of nourishment when you’re ill, it’s hard to beat classic tomato soup. And there are so many variations on the theme, from chopping in basil to stirring in lentils or adding lots of other veggies. When you need a quick and easy lunch to pack for work or a standby weeknight dinner, you can rely on the recipes here to turn your homegrown tomatoes into a flavorful, delicious meal.
Chop, Dice, and Blend Fresh Tomatoes into Versatile Spreads, Sauces, and Salsas
The recipes here won’t get dinner on the table, but they will turn your fresh tomatoes into delicious dressings, sauces, and spreads to round out other recipes. You may find that cooking a stockpile of salsa results in the decision to have nachos for dinner—and tomato vinaigrette makes a flavorful marinade for chicken, fish, pork, or beef. Explore the recipes in this section to get to kmow the variety of ways you can put your homegrown tomatoes to work in a supporting role.
Spotlight Fresh-From-the-Garden Tomatoes in Summertime Salads
Of course you’re familiar with using tomatoes in salads; you’ve probably already enjoyed lots of your garden haul just this way. But the recipes in this category each offer something special, whether it’s a unique ingredient, like figs or grilled watermelon, or the influence of Creole or Greek culinary traditions. If you love the vibrant taste of raw homegrown tomatoes and are looking for ways to serve your harvest in salads, look no further than the ideas here.
Serve Fresh Tomatoes in Fritattas, Tarts, Breads, and More Baked Treats
Baking probably isn’t your first thought for using up homegrown tomatoes, but the recipes here may change that for you. The bright flavor and moist texture of tomatoes from your garden is a perfect component for breads, galettes, tarts, and yes—even cakes. They’re off the beaten path, but one of these recipes for baking may just become your new favorite way to eat tomatoes.
With all the options presented here, you should have plenty of new recipes to explore that will help you make the most of your tomato harvest. But if your garden is producing faster than you can eat, you may consider canning or freezing some tomatoes or dehydrating some to use like sun-dried tomatoes in recipes.