As I have mentioned before, this year was my first year growing vegetables and I am learning new strategies along the way. I have had more success with some vegetables than with others, but I am still surprised with the amount that my gardens have produced. Early this summer, I was worried that my tomato plants were not going to make it through the early summer months. Luckily, I had several crops that rebounded and have started producing an abundance of tomatoes. I love tomatoes and want to utilize every last cherry tomato if possible. Nothing is more frustrating than harvesting vegetables from your own garden and having them spoil because you waited too long to use them. If you have an abundance of tomatoes like I do, you may be struggling to figure out what to do with them all. You are in luck because today I am going to share with you some tips on how to make the most of your tomato harvest.
10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Tomatoes:
- Toss them into a salad! In my house, we have a salad with most dinners especially in the summer. By adding tomatoes to your salad, you add color and boost the antioxidants that you are getting from your meal.
- Learn from the Italians. When my husband and I honeymooned in Italy, tomatoes were served with every meal. For the first week of our trip, I had caprese salad for breakfast every morning. Mix up your usual morning routine and have tomatoes with your eggs or on a piece of toast. Fresh tomatoes can add flavor to anything.
- You Gotta Try Burrata! If you have never tried burrata cheese, I suggest you go out and buy some. Burrata is a creamier version of mozzarella cheese and is even more delicious. Depending on where you live, it may be hard to find. I usually find it at Whole Foods market, a local cheese shop, or market. Instead of the traditional caprese salad, try tomatoes with buratta cheese. You may never go back to mozzarella cheese.
- Make a large batch of Tomato sauce. There are so many great ways to make a tomato sauce. Tomato sauce is something you prepare in bulk and freeze. If you have enough storage in your freezer(and enough tomatoes), you can have tomato sauce made from fresh tomatoes all year. Even if you don’t have a lot of storage space, you can easily make a batch of your favorite tomato sauce and freeze it.
- Winter is coming! One of my favorite quick and easy weeknight wonders is tomato soup with grilled cheese. What better way to prepare for colder weather than by making a large batch of tomato soup and freezing it.
- Avocado makes everything better! A great salad that is quick and easy to put together and tastes amazing is tomato and avocado mixed together. Add some fresh cilantro, salt and pepper and you have yourself a tasty salad. It makes a great side for quesadillas! If you don’t like avocado, then try making a corn and tomato salad.
- Enjoy fresh summer pasta once in a while! As a dietitian I am constantly battling my love of pasta. Everything in moderation is a good mantra to live by, but I would eat pasta every night of the week if I could. If I am going to eat pasta, I try to make something with fresh seasonal vegetables. One of my favorite pasta recipes that I learned from my parents is called “Summer Pasta”, which I will be sharing with you sometime over the next week.
- Have tomatoes for dessert! I wouldn’t usually think of having tomatoes for dessert, but I recently read a new recipe for a tomato dessert: Tomato Peach Cobbler.
- Try a Tomato Tart! This summer I have been making a few different kinds of tarts and have realized that making the pastry is much easier than I originally thought. For instance, the zucchini goat cheese tart from earlier this summer was super simple! I have never successfully made a pie crust and I have found making a pastry tart to be fairly easy.
- Add tomatoes to pasta salad! I am not a big fan of pasta salad because so many recipes feature mayonnaise. I love a pasta salad recipe that has a vinegar dressing. One of my favorite pasta salad recipes to make in the summer is this Balsamic Chicken Tomato Pasta Salad. We make this often in the summer and have it for lunch a few times during the week because it keeps well. It is a great make-ahead recipe that involves very little prep work.
I hope you find these tips helpful and use every last tomato from your harvest. Even if you aren’t growing tomatoes, you can find fresh seasonal tomatoes easily this time of year. Try a local market that sells fresh produce, a farmers market, or even the grocery store. Hannaford’s grocery always has fresh local produce from Maine available in the summer. Most crops are producing a ton of tomatoes this time of year so you are likely to find tomatoes at reduced prices because farmers are trying to sell their harvest before it goes bad. Tomatoes are a great source of Vitamins A, C, and Folic Acid, which means they can lead to improved ADHD symptoms. They also contain cancer fighting antioxidants including lycopene. Lastly, there are 95% water and can help you meet your daily fluid needs.
I would love to hear from you! What is your favorite recipe you make with tomatoes? Share your favorite tomato tips in the comments.
As always, thank you so much for reading. Be sure to check back over the next week or so for the recipes that I mentioned above. Be the first to try these recipes by subscribing to my email newsletter!
Until Next Time,
The Distracted Dietitian