As we talked about in our last post, it's tomato season! So, in order to provide you with some inspiration for using your produce, I decided it was time to turn to some of my favorite recipe sites. Here is a list of some of the best ways to incorporate tomatoes into you summer meals.
Homemade Pico de Gallo – My Recipe
In case you missed it, my last post
was all about the awesomeness that is pico de gallo. Easily made with any tomatoes you have on hand, check out my recipe to see the best way to bring out the flavors of your produce. Great for large crowds or just for one, this is one of the most versatile tomato recipes around so, once you try it, I encourage you to rework it to match your palate.
Tomato and Zucchini Frittata – Recipe: Skinnytaste
Tomatoes are great when worked into any breakfast dish, but if you're looking for a good egg bake you can eat for any meal, a frittata is the way to go. I love this recipe because it's also a great use of my zucchini, which is another high-yield plant that I am always trying to figure out how to work into my meals. Though this recipe calls for large vine tomatoes, I have had success with virtually every variety I've tried, including whole grape tomatoes, so don’t be afraid to get creative.
Baked Polenta and Tomato Salad – Recipe: A Beautiful Mess
For those of you who pass the odd tube of polenta in the store and wonder what the heck it is, let me enlighten you. Though the consistency may be odd at first glance, it mostly consists of cornmeal, and is one of the most versatile ingredients available. This recipe is a great demonstration of how easily and fast it can be cooked. Simply slice it into rounds and bake it in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Or, if it's summer, grilling is another great option. If you are more of a pizza person, it can also easily be pressed into a pan and used as your base.
Tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, the two other main ingredients in this dish, are meant to be paired. The acidity of the vinegar brings out the flavor of your chosen tomato, especially if it's Big Boy or Beefsteak. Easy to assemble, but also delicious and hearty, you will feel like you cracked the code on cooking with this one.
Bloody Mary Gazpacho – Recipe: Foodie Crush
Tomatoes have always lent themselves well to soups, but in the summer, steaming hot liquids are not exactly at the top of my craving list. That's why Gazpacho is a great alternative. A classic chilled summer soup, this recipe provides a bit more kick for those of us who like a little heat. Gazpacho is another recipe that can be altered to fit your vegetable garden needs. So use what you have on hand. If you are nervous about venturing forward recipe free, Foodie Crush provides a number of other gazpacho recipes featuring watercress, cilantro, cucumber, bell peppers, and even cherries and grapes, depending on your preference.
Cucumber Avocado Caprese Salad – Recipe: PopSugar
The most popular garden fair for household planting has long been tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil. That's why this recipe is so useful. Not only does it combine all these ingredients, it adds in the ever-popular avocado for some creamy-ness, as well as satisfying all you cheese lovers' cravings. Though you can use any tomato, the smaller cherry or grape tomatoes provide the best flavor and are the easiest to prepare. Olives are also an obvious addition if you like them.
Tomato, Corn and Cheese Galette With Fresh Basil – Recipe: Alexandra’s Kitchen
In case you were curious, a galette is similar to a tart. In the way that a pie locks in flavors of berries, this galette crust locks in the flavors of you tomatoes. And though it may look intimidating, these fancy tarts are surprisingly easy to assemble. I love this recipe because it also utilizes corn, one of my favorite summer staples. Though this recipe suggests baking, if you want to make smaller galettes, they can be easily grilled as well. Use big, beefy tomatoes or smaller multi-colored cherries for a different twist and flavor.
Stuffed Tomatoes – Recipe: Taste of Home
The food world has become obsessed with cuteness, so we are now being flooded with a number of recipes that use every part of the vegetable to create individual servings. By hollowing out and stuffing a vegetable, you can create unique, bite-sized delicacies that are sure to impress your guests without making you pull your hair out.
Because of the variety of color and size, tomatoes are an obvious choice for this “stuffing” phenomenon. The trick is to pick the size of the tomato based on how many people you are feeding. Bigger tomatoes will provide a heartier meal, while smaller ones are great for appetizers or party fare. Though I prefer to stuff mine with spinach and mushrooms, this classic bread crumb and cheese stuffed tomato recipe is a crowd pleaser. If you're gluten free, try switching the bread crumbs for quinoa.
Tomato and Pesto Pizza – Recipe: Midwest Living
If you’re looking to stray from the classic pizza recipe, try trading tomatoes in the sauce for a topping instead. This amazing recipe from Midwest Living is a great example of how tomatoes and pesto pair well together. Though this recipe uses kale, pesto classically uses basil---if you want to add a little extra punch to the dish, consider giving this kale recipe a try. Spinach or arugula are also good alternatives if you happen to have grown that this season. Again, you can easily customize this recipe depending on the tomatoes you grow, but the results are particularly beautiful with heirlooms.
Baby Spinach, Tomato and Quinoa Salad – Recipe: Gluten-free Goddess
Tomatoes and quinoa are a match made in heaven. Unlike other grains, quinoa is small and easily takes on the flavor of whatever you top it with. It can be enjoyed hot or cold, depending on your preference. Though this is one of my favorite ways to combine the two ingredients, I strongly urge you to search for more recipes as you will be sure to find something that fits your family's specific taste preferences. Skinnytaste has a great Mediterranean recipe
, and Half-baked Harvest has a killer grilled Mexican choice
Sausage, Tomato, and Arugula Fettuccine – Recipe: Cooking Light
In the same way that I choose a pizza that didn’t feature a classic tomato sauce, I wanted to show off how great tomatoes are used in a pasta. That is why I chose this Sausage, Tomato, and Arugula Fettuccine. The flavors of the tomatoes are truly featured by cooking them with the sausage and then mashing, thus creating a light sauce organically. Most pasta that feature tomatoes suggests using cherry or grape because they are easy and bite sized. In this recipe, the arugula, which is a bit bitter in taste, will bring out the sweetness in the smaller tomatoes, while the oils in the sausage bring out the robust flavor.
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