5 Ways You Didn’t Know You Could Use Tomatoes

You probably already know all about the versatility of the tomato. Who hasn’t sliced one and added it to a salad? Or, popped a plain cherry tomato in your mouth for a burst of flavor? You can make fresh pasta and pizza sauces with them, and that favorite condiment, ketchup. Cut a meaty slice of an heirloom to wedge between bread for a simple, succulent sandwich. Oh, the possibilites! What haven’t you home chefs done with a tasty, organic tomato? Well…these five things, perhaps?

Whip Up Tomato Ice Cream

Don’t be so vanilla. Add a different kind of sweetness to your ice cream than the usual culprits—chocolate, cherry, sprinkles, candy bar chunks. Simply take your favorite homemade vanilla ice cream recipe (our Organic Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, perhaps?) and add tomato. All you need to do is roast your tomatoes in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes until they’re soft and mushy. Then, puree them in a food processor. Strain the tomatoes well (get rid of the seeds and skin) and then add them to your ice cream recipe right before you mix it all together. Garnish with a slice of tomato if you’re feeling bold.

Make Dried Tomatoes

Okay…you savvy foodies have likely already known about this way to use tomatoes, but we had to include it. Our recipe for oven-dried cherry tomatoes slowly dehydrates the tomatoes, leaving them with an intense, tasty flavor. You can then use these versatile goodies in soups and salads, sauces and dips, in sandwiches and wraps, and more. The AMAZING smells that fill the entire house? That’s just a bonus.

If you want to sun dry your tomatoes in the summer heat, simply follow the recipe above, spread a layer of tomatoes evenly on a baking sheet and pop them in full sun. Bring the tomatoes in at night and then set them out again the next day. Continue this process until the tomatoes are the right consistency.

A Roasted Tomato Tart

Tomato? In a tart!? Who’da thought? This savory roasted tomato tart recipe from the blog Patent & The Pantry combines a hearty homemade piecrust with the intense, concentrated flavor of roasted cherry tomatoes. It’s a perfect way to use up an abundance of cherry tomatoes from your garden. You could also make mini versions using a muffin tin. Adapt this recipe by using organic ingredients for optimum health benefits.

Pickle Your Tomatoes

Save those sweet bursts of summer flavor, your tomatoes, for the less sunny months by pickling them. Pickling not only preserves those summer favorites, it also adds a depth of flavor to them. Never pickled before? Our pickling recipe tells all; just add the tomatoes. Get ready to whip out those canning jars.

Sip a Tomato Martini

Drink up the tomato-y goodness of summer by adding fresh tomatoes to a classic martini. With the simple addition of tomato water, you’ll have a fresh martini in hand complete with the essence of tomato.

Make tomato water by blending two small tomatoes (per serving) in a food processer. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve and then add the remaining liquid to your favorite martini recipe.

Want the lazy girl (or boy’s) recipe for a tomato martini? Shake up your favorite martini, skewer a pickled tomato (from the above recipe) and plop it in the drink. A dilly, tomato-y twist on the classic olive.

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image: Ruthieki