Tomatoes

Those juicy, yummy, unbelievably perfect garden tomatoes are not going to be here much longer, so don’t squander your bounty! Make some incredible dishes (and desserts!) with your heirlooms, plums, beefsteaks and those cute cherry tomatoes. Even as you enjoy them today, there are plenty of easy ways to savor the flavor when the season has long faded into Christmas shopping and the dreaded subzeros. Try these eleven ideas to make the most out of your garden of love tomatoes. 

Juice ‘em: Fresh tomato juice is worlds apart from the store-bought stuff. Make sure your vodka and hot sauce are on hand for the perfect fresh Sunday monrning Bloody Mary.

Tomato sorbet: For real. Puree them, add some fresh tomato juice, lemon, organic sugar, a little dash of salt, cayenne, and strain and voila – into the ice cream maker for a surprisingly tasty addition to entrees or as a yummy dessert.

Freeze them: Chop, puree or blanch your tomatoes and freeze for use in the dark, flavorless days of winter for a refreshing burst of summer. Or put the fresh juice in ice cube trays to add a kick to veggie soup stocks and sauces.

VLTs: Veggie bacon, lettuce and tomato? ‘Nuff said.

Pizza: Instead of sauce, layer your crust with olive oil, herbs, garlic and lots of sliced fresh tomatoes. Perfection!

Stewed grilled, roasted or broiled: A fresh tomato intensifies in flavor when heated. They’re a must on any summer barbecue kabob, and any of these methods are easy, super tasty and the tomato can be eaten plain or as a compliment to virtually any main dish.

Dried: With a dehydrator, you can easily dry tomatoes for wonderful snacks or additions to a number of dishes. Sun-dried tomato pesto? Deelish!

Canned: Homemade preserves are an easy way to store your tomatoes indefinitely. Stew them first or make a batch of your best marinara sauce, salsa or ketchup and enjoy your garden-growns year-round.

Soup: It may be summer, but nothing makes a better lunch than homemade tomato soup with super fresh ingredients. Gazpacho is super easy and delicious for a cold soup treat. Use your garden herbs like basil, dill or parsley, too.

Eat them raw: Spritz a bit of lemon, drizzle of olive oil and top with coarse mineral salt and fresh pepper. So simple, so tasty!

Give them away: Your friends and neighbors will be so grateful for a few of your ripe, juicy homegrowns. Share the love this summer!

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

image: qmnonic