There is nothing that defines summer more than the taste of a fresh, vine-ripened tomato. One juicy bite and you realize that the tomatoes you are buying in the grocery store are just crap. A fresh garden tomato is delicious simply sliced into thick slabs with nothing more than a pinch of salt (but even better with a drizzle of great olive oil). Tomatoes are also endlessly versatile and can be paired just about anything.
Keep scrolling for my best ways to use summer’s bounty of fresh tomatoes.
You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato
Who cares how you say it, it’s how you eat it that matters.
Let’s start simple. Like I said above, skip your normal dinner salad and just lay some thick slabs of fresh tomato on plate, sprinkle with kosher salt and drizzle with good olive oil. Yum.
Kick that idea up a notch by layering in fresh summer cucumbers and a crumble of goat cheese.
Put a fat slice of heirloom tomato on your trendy avocado toast (if you want to get serious about your toast, put a fried yard egg with a runny yolk on top of the avocado before the tomato).
Everything Is Better With Bacon
As soon as the first perfectly ripe tomato comes off the vine, I pull out my farmer’s market bacon and my favorite pumpernickel or rye bread. Time for BATs! You’ve heard of BLTs but who needs lettuce when you can use avocado???
Take Your Tomato Dancing – They Like to Salsa
There are always a few bruised or damaged tomatoes in the mix. The best way to use these up fast is homemade tomato salsa. It’s too easy to even build a formal recipe file for – dice up fresh tomatoes, white onion and a jalapeno (seeded if you don’t like the heat). Pinch of salt, squeeze of lime juice. Cilantro. Stir, done.
Lately I’ve been experimenting with bean burger recipes (still haven’t found “The One” so share if you have). Recently discovered that a bean or veggie burger makes the perfect 5-minute weeknight taco. Here’s the one I had for lunch today – white bean burger taco with avocado and fresh salsa, dollop of Daisy.
When I have an abundance of cherry tomatoes, I use them for my Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce. It’s an easy weeknight recipe that goes perfectly over fresh angel hair pasta. Top with fresh torn basil, crumbled goat cheese and a drizzle of quality olive oil.
Another favorite weeknight meal that will use up a handful of fresh cherry tomatoes is my Seared Halloumi Salad with Cumin-Lime Chickpeas, Mint and Pistachios. Never heard of halloumi? Click the link above to learn.
Once Upon A Fresh Tomato Frittata
Whenever I use tomatoes in a frittata, I roasted them first. It helps dry out some of their juice. I like to grate some lemon zest over cut fresh tomatoes before roasting…gives a little zing.
My signature frittata is Corn, Roasted Cherry Tomato & Zucchini Frittata with Fresh Herbs. It’s not your mother’s frittata! Elegant enough to entertain with.
Another frittata fav is the Cheddar Sausage, Roasted Tomato and Mustard Green Frittata. You can sub spinach if it isn’t mustard green season (or if you don’t live in mustard green territory). This picture always makes my mouth water.
A Toast To Fresh Tomatoes
Another way to use up the damaged or starting-to-rot tomatoes (or the salsa you made from your fresh tomatoes) is to make your own homemade Bloody Mary Mix. Start by pureeing a bunch of overripe tomatoes in your food processor. Add a shallot and a seeded jalapeno (unless you started with salsa that already had onions and jalapeno in it) plus the juice of a lime. Pinch or two of kosher salt. Process to your desired consistency. If you hate chunks, strain it through a colander lined with a coffee filter.
I like to make Bloody Mary’s in a mason jar. I use 2 shots of Tito’s per cup of tomato juice, add a few dashes of Pickapeppa Sauce (sub Worcestershire) and about tsp of horseradish. Shake well and pour over ice. Garnish with celery and pickled quail egg.
The Search Isn’t Over
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