Tomatoes reign in summer gardens

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier



Suddenly we’re picking more tomatoes than we dreamed possible. Maybe we’re looking for some recipes to use them in a way other than just sliced. So here are four that offer some variety.

[cointent_lockedcontent]This is the only time of year we have access to real tomatoes — that is, tomatoes with color, flavor and real tomato texture.

Don’t let them go to waste, as you’ll not see their like again for many months.


Sweet Fresh Tomato Salsa

4 lbs. vine-ripened tomatoes (about 5 medium)

1/2 medium sweet onion (Vidalia if possible)

1 c. fresh cilantro sprigs

4 fresh serrano or jalapeno chiles, seeded and chopped

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 tsp. sugar

3 tbsp. fresh lime juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Quarter and seed tomatoes. Dice the tomatoes and transfer to a bowl. Finely chop enough onion to measure 1/2 cup and chop cilantro. Stir chiles, onion, cilantro, and garlic into tomatoes with sugar and lime juice and season with salt and pepper.


Cucumber Tomato Salad

1/2 English or seedless cucumber, diced

2 vine ripe tomatoes, diced

Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1/2 medium red onion, chopped

2 tbsp. red wine vinegar, a couple of splashes

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it

Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Dress with vinegar  and oil, salt and pepper, to your taste. Chill before serving.

Tomato Pie

4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced

1 (9-in.) prebaked deep dish pie shell

10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

1/2 c. chopped green onion

1 c. grated mozzarella

1 c. grated cheddar

1 c. mayonnaise

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the tomatoes in a colander in the sink in one layer. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 10 minutes.

Layer the tomato slices, basil, and onion in pie shell. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the grated cheeses and mayonnaise together. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

To serve, cut into slices and serve warm.


Roasted Tomato Soup

7 c. whole tomatoes, peeled and cored

Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. light brown sugar

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 shallots, quartered

Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

3 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp. tomato paste

2 tbsp. dry sherry

4 c. peeled, cored and crushed ripe tomatoes

1 to 2 c. chicken stock

1/4 c. heavy cream

Mix together whole tomatoes, olive oil, light brown sugar, carrots and shallots, and toss to coat. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Place the vegetables on a silicone or parchment-lined baking sheet and roast until caramelized, about 30 minutes.

Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Add the butter and cook until foaming. Add the crushed red pepper and garlic and sauté for one minute. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add the sherry. Cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the alcohol has cooked off, 1-2 minutes. Add the roasted vegetables, crushed tomatoes and one cup chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the heavy cream and, using an immersion blender, puree the soup until uniform in texture. Add more chicken stock to adjust the consistency to how you like it.