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Tomatoes drive me nuts. They are awesome when they are in season, but are horrible from a grocery store or in a restaurant. Why?? Because if they are not harvested ripe, the flavors and textures and nutrients never fully develop. Any tomato that is shipped is harvested unripe (when it is green). But have no fear the farm is provide amazing tomatoes of all shapes, sizes, and colors. The heirloom varieties are the best tasting, but have more water in them.  

QUICK IDEAS: slice an heirloom tomatoes onto a grilled cheese sandwich; add salt and eat a tomato like an apple; chop into a fresh salsa

Tomato Panzanella w/Corn, Cucumbers and Herb Salad
From Ruffage

4 ears corn (2 cups kernels)
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 loaf crusty bread
2 tbsp butter (optional)
1 qt cherry tomatoes, halved (or 3-4 large slicing tomatoes, cut into large dice)
1 cucumber, cut into half-moons
2 cups herbs (basil, parsley, mint, chives, lemon balm, borage, chervil, tarragon, lemon thyme, rosemary), stemmed, leaves left whole

1) Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the corn with a glug of olive oil, sprinkle of salt, and grind of pepper. Spread the dressed corn out on a baking sheet and bake until cooked through and caramely, 12 to 15 minutes.
2) Cut or tear the bread into pieces and toss with a large glug of olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake the bread pieces until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
3) Toss the hot croutons with the butter so it melts and coats them.
4) Toss the croutons with the roasted corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, and herbs and a bit of salt and pepper. Taste the seasoning and adjust the salt, or add a splash of vinegar.

Grilled Gazpacho: Serves 4
From Twenty Dollar, Twenty-Minute Meals by
Caroline Wright

6 medium plum tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
2 cucumbers
1/2 shallot
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
1 small garlic clove
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
Crusty bread (for dipping)

1) Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
2) Core and cut the tomatoes and pepper into large, 
flat pieces.
3) Lightly oil the pan, add the tomatoes and peppers, and cook
until charred, about 5 minutes.
4) Transfer the grilled vegetables to a food processor or blender. Cut the cucumbers into chunks and add to food processor along with the 1/2 shallot, parsley leaves, garlic clove, and red wine vinegar.
5) Season with salt and pepper and pulse to finely chop and blend.
6) Serve with crusty bread.

Caprese Pizza: Makes 1 pizza

For the crust
2 cups flour (whole wheat or spelt)
1 tablespoon oil (plus 1 for the pan)
¼ cup flax meal (optional)
1 envelope active dry yeast 
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup very warm water (120-130 degrees)

For the toppings
Brandywine or Striped German tomatoes
Fresh mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil, sliced thinly
Olive oil
sea salt (optional)

For the crust
1) Mix all the ingredients for the crust in a glass or metal bowl. Mix until well mixed; dough will be soft and sticky. DO NOT KNEAD.
2) Let rest 10 minutes. Set oven to 425 F to preheat. We usually set the pizza dough on the stovetop since the oven preheating will help the dough rise.
3) Lightly oil a 15x10x1 pan with olive oil. Once the dough is ready, spread it on the oiled pan leaving it slightly thicker around the edges. If the dough is sticky, use extra flour on your hands to shape it.
4) Pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes before adding toppings.
For the pizza
1) Drizzle some olive oil on the prebaked crust.
2) Placed sliced tomatoes (slice them like discs so they lay flat) around the pizza.
3) Put sliced basil leaves directly on the tomato slices.
4) Place the fresh mozzarella slices directly on top of the tomatoes and basil. Sprinkle salt sparingly over top if you wish.
5) Bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese has some slight browned spots on it. Let cool 10 minutes before eating.
**this pizza will have more water than other pizzas because of the nature of the fresh tomatoes and mozzarella.

Caramelized Tomato Tarte Tatin
​from NY Times cooks

1 14 oz. package puff pastry
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 red onions, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 cup plus a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
1 1/2 pints (about 1 lb.) cherry or grape tomatoes
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste

1) Preheat oven to 425. unfold puff pastry and cut into a 10-inch round; chill, covered, until ready to use. 
2) Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and a pinch of sugar and cook, stirring, until onions are golden and caramelized, 15-20 min. Add 2 tbsp water and let cook off, scraping brown bits from bottom of pan. Transfer onions to a bowl. 
3) In a clean, ovenproof 9-inch skillet, combine 1/4 cup sugar and 3 tbsp water. Cook over medium heat, swirling pan gently until sugar melts and turns amber, 5-10 min. Add vinegar and swirl gently. 
4) Sprinkle olives over caramel. Scatter tomatoes over olives, then sprinkle onions on. Season with thyme leaves, salt and pepper. top with puff pastry round, tucking edges into pan. Cut several long vents in top of pastry. 
5) Bake tart until crust is puffed and golden, about 30 min. Let cool for 5 min, then run knife around pastry to loosen it from pan, and flip tart out onto a serving platter. Cut into wedge and serve immediately.  

Texas Tango Salsa
from Raw Energy by Stephanie Tourles

2 cups roughly chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 medium bell pepper, cored and diced
1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup raw corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1) Combine tomato, onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, and garlic in a medium bowl. 
2) Finely chop the cilantro leaves. Add cilantro and corn to the tomato mixture. 
3) Combine the lime juice with the cumin, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Stir and then pour over the tomato mixture. Blend well with a large spoon. 
4) Store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

Heirloom Caprese Salad

Brandywine or Striped German tomatoes
Fresh mozzarella cheese
basil leaves
olive oil
sea salt

1) Slice tomatoes and mozzarella around the same thickness.
2) Cut basil leaves into strips.
3) Layer tomatoes and mozzarella with basil on top. Drizzle with olive oil and add a sprinkle of salt.
The best!

Grilled Tomatoes

Olive oil

1) Heat grill to medium heat.
2) Slice tomatoes in half and brush olive oil on cut side. Add salt as well.
3) Put tomatoes cut side down on the grill and close lid. Cook until grill marks appear, about 5 minutes.
4) Brush other side with olive oil and salt and flip over.
5) Cover and cook until grill marks appear, about 5 minutes. Serve hot or room temp.

Salsa Fresca

1 onion or scallions
Lime Juice or Red wine vinegar

1) Cube tomatoes to desired size.
2) Chop or mince onion and garlic (I use a food processor)
3) Chop cilantro
4) Combine ingredients and toss with lime juice or red wine vinegar and salt to taste.

Tomato and Pesto Sandwich

2 bunches basil (about 5 cups fresh basil leaves)
2 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt, plus more to taste and salt for blanching water
1/4 cup pine nuts or sunflower seeds
1/2 cup shredded parmesan or other aged cheese
Your favorite bread
A few meaty slices of tomato

1) Put basil, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt in a blender or food processor. Whirl until completely pureed, scraping down sides as necessary to keep mixture uniform. 
2) Add pine nuts and cheese and pulse until chopped and well incorporated. (This can be stored, covered and chilled up to one week, and frozen up to 6 months)
3) Construct sandwich and sprinkle with salt if you wish.

Cherry Tomato and Yellow Squash Crumble: Serves 4

3 Tablespoons butter
1 1/4 cups breadcrumbs (Toast bread and let it cool, then break it up. You can use whatever bread you want)
2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 lb yellow squash, diced (around 2 cups)
3 Cups cherry tomatoes
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/2 cup swiss cheese (or a cheese you really like), grated

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread olive oil or canola oil on 9 inch square baking dish.
2) Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Pour 2 Tablespoons butter over breadcrumbs in a bowl and stir in parsley.
3) Return skillet to burner and increase heat to medium high. Add onion and cook 7-9 minutes, until they start to brown.
4) Stir in squash and cook for 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and garlic and cook 2 more minutes or until tomatoes are warmed through.
5) Season with salt and transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.
6) Sprinkle cheese on top and spread breadcrumb mixture over the cheese.
7) Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Serve hot. 

Gazpacho: Serves 4
from Edible Buffalo

2 cups tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup sweet peppers, diced
1/2 cup cucumbers, diced
1/4 cup breadcrumbs (like above, choose a bread you want and toast it. Let it cool and break it up.)
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon hot pepper, diced 
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano

1) Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix together.
2) Transfer to a blender or food processor and process until a course puree.
3) Serve chilled or at room temperature

Grilled Panzenella Salad: Serves 6
Thanks to Julie for showing us this site!

1 small loaf good quality bread
2 large garlic cloves 
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 small bunch basil leaves
1 8-ounce tub mozzarella balls, "ciliegini", packed in water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons vinegar (I like red wine or herb)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1) Prepare a grill or, if you can't grill outside, heat a grill pan on the stove. 
2) Slice the bread into 1-inch thick slices. Grill both sides until golden. 
3) Rub the grilled bread with the raw garlic. 
4) Tear the bread into bite sized chunks and place in a large serving bowl and add the cherry tomatoes.
5) Tear the basil leaves into the serving bowl. Drain the mozzarella balls and add them to the serving bowl. 
6) In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lots of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Toss everything well and serve.

Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, Pancetta: Serves 4

3 ounces diced pancetta (if you can't find pancetta, you may substitute bacon)
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the pasta
2 anchovy fillets (optional)
1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs** (make your own fresh bread crumbs. Just tear bread, place in your food    processor and grind) 
4 tomatoes, tops sliced off, seeds scooped out
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 
small handful fresh thyme, parsley or basil leaves, chopped
salt & pepper
8 ounces spaghetti

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fry the pancetta in a skillet over medium heat until browned and crisp around the edges. Use a slotted spatula or spoon to lift the pancetta out of the skillet to a plate. Leave the rendered fat in the skillet. 
2) Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the anchovies to the same skillet. Use a wooden spoon to mash the anchovies until they dissolve (if you do not want anchovies, skip this). Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring often, until they are golden.
3) Put the tomatoes, cut side up, in a baking dish and slip some garlic into each tomato. Season the tomatoes with plenty of salt and pepper. Mound some bread crumbs onto each tomato, getting some inside the tomatoes. 4) Scatter herbs on top. Drizzle 4 tablespoons of olive oil over all. Roast the tomatoes in the oven until they have browned a bit and the interior is supple but the tomatoes have not collapsed, about one hour.
5) Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water. Drain, but reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot and remove the tomatoes from the baking dish and set aside. Stir the oily tomato juices and any bits of bread crumbs from the bottom of the tomato roasting dish into the pasta. Add a little olive oil and the reserved pasta water and toss. 
6) Pour the pasta into a serving bowl, place the tomatoes on top, sprinkle the pancetta over all and serve.

Marcella Hazan's Sauce with Onion and Butter:
Serves 6 (for 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of pasta)

Just under 2 lbs of tomatoes
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
Salt to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

1) Put tomatoes and all of their juices in a saucepan, crushing the tomato flesh with your hands. Add butter, onion and salt. 
2) Cook, uncovered, at a very low, but steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the water has cooked off and the tomatoes have concentrated into a tasty sauce. 
3) While cooking, stir from time to time, mashing larger pieces with the back of a wooden spoon. Taste and adjust the salt. Discard onion before tossing sauce with cooked pasta or cooling sauce to pack in an airtight container for storage in the fridge or freezer. (You can also keep the onion for something—it is delicious!)

*Note: This sauce is a great way to add flavor to baby’s food. Spoon a little bit onto spinach, polenta, rice cereal or pastina and puree as necessary with grated Parmesan for your littlest eaters. A delicious first food!

Summer Tomato Salad: serves 4-6
From Good Food to Share

2 lbs ripe tomatoes preferably heirloom or cherry, any shape or size or color 
1 tablespoon table salt
Extra-Virgin olive oil (use good stuff for this since it is fresh's worth the $$!
Mozzarella cheese (7 oz)
1 handful basil leaves, torn into pieces
Flaky or coarse sea salt

1) Depending on the size of the tomatoes, cut into halves, quarters or cubes.
2) Place the tomatoes in a colander in the sink and sprinkle with the table salt. Toss well and set aside to drain for about 10 minutes.
3) Arrange tomatoes and drizzle generously with olive oil. Pull or carve little peices of cheese from the ball of mazarella. and nestle the pieces among the tomatoes. Scatter the basil on top and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve right away.

Tomato Jam: Makes 2 1/4 cups
From Bon Appetit, 2008

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup (scant) finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 lbs diced tomatoes (with their juice)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1) Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent, stirring oftern, about 4 minutes.
2) Add diced tomatoes with juice, sugar, thyme, salt, and black pepper and cook over medium heat until most of the liquid evaporates and mixture is reduced to 2 1/4 cups, stirring occasionally until done.
3) Cool. Store in container in frige up to 2 weeks.