If you planted tomatoes this season, chances are you're beginning to see high yields. Though it's satisfying to see your plants teeming with the juicy, red bulbs, if you are like most gardeners, your joy may have turned to panic when trying to figure out just how to utilize the large harvest of tomatoes that are overcrowding your countertops.

You could give them away or barter with a friend for other produce, but there's a reason you chose to plant tomatoes, so you might as well try to use them.

To help you on your quest to tame the tomatoes, here is one of my favorite summer tomato recipes to give some variety to the season's most versatile vegetable.

Homemade Pico de Gallo

When I first decided to try making Pico myself, I was a little intimidated. But once you taste the fresh stuff, you will never buy it from the store again. Though it may look difficult, this is actually one of the easiest and fastest tomato usages. I regularly whip it up if it looks like my tomatoes are about to go bad, and I rarely have leftovers. It can be prepared in large or small quantities depending on who you are feeding, and it can also be easily altered to fit your palate. Throw in a pepper, red onions, or even additional jalapenos, depending on the other produce that you have on hand.

Though I have found a variety of recipes, my favorite is my own, which I have modified and played with multiple times. I use a little more garlic and cilantro than your average recipe because I love the stuff, and I tend to steer clear of the salt, opting for pepper instead if I need a little kick. It's also important to note that a jalapeño's heat is concentrated in the seeds, so make sure to remove them if you want a milder Pico.


•2 Large Ripe Tomatoes
•1 Vivaldi Onion
•¼ cup Cilantro
•2 Jalapeños
•2 Cloves Garlic
•2 tbsp Lime Juice

Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds before dicing them. Place in a large bowl. Finely chop the onion and add it to the tomatoes. For every one cup of tomatoes, supplement with about ½ to ¾ a cup of onion so as to create the right balance in flavors. Cut the jalapeño vertically, and depending on the amount of heat you want, remove some or all of the seeds before adding to the mixture. Add in minced garlic, lime juice, and stir. Finely chop the cilantro, add to the mixture. Serve chilled with chips, on top of tacos, or fish.