What to Do with Garden Tomatoes?

Updated on September 08, 2007
P.P. asks from Crystal Lake, IL
4 answers

I have an explosion of garden tomatoes! Does anyone have a REALLY simple salsa recipe or any other recipe to use with garden tomatoes?
thanks girlfriends!

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answers from Chicago on

Hi Pam!
We must have planted around the same time - we have tomatoes coming out of our ears as well.

My salsa recipe is pretty easy (I grow jalepenos and cilantro too):
dice up tomatoes, a tiny bit of jalepeno (its better to do a little and add later than too much up front), garlic salt, cilantro and lime . . .taste . . .

You can do the same with some avacados and make guacamole too . . .2-3 avacados, tiny bit of jalepeno, juice of 1 lime, cilantro and garlic salt

I saw this recipe online a couple of years ago for spaghetti sauce and have used it ever since:

25 c. raw tomato juice, no seeds
5 c. minced onion
2 c. minced deseeded zucchini, skin on
1 c. minced green pepper
3 cans minced mushrooms or mince raw muchrooms
5 t. basil
4 t. minced dried garlic
1 T. fresh chooped parsley
2 t. black pepper
1/2 t. allspice
5 t. oregano
2 t. celery seed
3 T. salt plus 1 t. salt
1/2 c. olive oil
1 c. vinegar

Boil the above ingredients for 1 hour. Stir often depending on quality of pot. (I have a Paderno (excellent quality) pot and rarely does anything stick on when I am using it)

While the mixture is boiling for the one hour, wash about 10 to 12 quart jars (I reuse Ragu and cheeze whiz jars) and place them in the 200 F oven to heat and sterilize. Place jar lids in pot of water on stove top and boil for 5 to 10 minutes.

Now mix together:

2 c. brown sugar
3 tins of 13oz. tomato paste
3 tins no name tomato soup (cheap brand) (this adds a creaminess to the sauce)

Add this mixture to the pot and whisk it in, boil 10 - 15 minutes more.

Right at the end mix:

1/2 c. cornstarch with a little water and then SLOWLY whisk it in, stirring constantly to thicken the sauce. Cook for a few more minutes (now it will stick on...depending on your pot)

Pour into hot sterilized jars up to 1/2 inch from top, wipe top of jar to make sure it is clean, and take your hot lid and tighten onto jar. You are done. When the jar is cooling the lid will pop.

Have fun.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Yummy recipes so far! I have to try that sauce.

Easy things we do with tomatoes - we serve them sliced with fresh mozzarella and basil from the garden (my kids will actually eat this, which is a bonus) sometimes with a little oil and vinegar, sometimes just salt and pepper.

We also chop them and serve as a salad with tomato, a bit of cucumber, dill and chives (all from the garden), oil and vinegar or dressing of your choice.

My favorite tomato breakfast dish (the kids don't really like it that much, but it's very healthy and yummy for the grownups): Slice tomatoes and sprinkle with cheese of your choice (lowfat but not non-fat cheddar is good.) You don't need a ton of cheese, just enough to add a little flavor. Use a microwave or broil or use a toaster oven until cheese is melted and tomatoes are warm and a little smushy. You can serve as a side dish with eggs on the weekend, or pile a on a piece of whole wheat toast.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Brucshetta, so easy. I don't measure things out but go by taste. I will guesstimate.

Four tomatoes, medium sized, chipped
Two Tb. fresh basil, chopped
One Tb. olive oil
Two Tb. balsamic vinegar

Mix it all together and season with salt and pepper. Spoon onto sliced french bread, toasted or not. Really good if you wait a half hour or so before eating.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I had this "problem" one year a few years ago (when I had a garden). I ended up canning a LOT of tomatoes - which is really easy (see the USDA website for guidance, or better yet, pick of the Ball Blue Book of Canning). I also canned salsa. Here are some other good things to do with tomatoes:

Tomato and Green Bean Salad

Tomatoes (diced)
lightly steamed green beans
minced red onion
balsamic vinegar (the expensive kind if you can)
olive oil

There's also a fabulous fresh tomato/basil pasta sauce in the New Basics Cookbook. I can't remember it exactly off the top of my head but it's basically a bunch of small-diced tomatoes and fresh tomato puree mixed with 3-4 cloves garlic, 1 small onion, 1 handful of minced basil. Let it all sit (covered) on your counter for a few hours for the flavors to blend. Serve over pasta - this is SO GOOD.

Another one that's good if you have cherry tomatoes is to cut a bunch of them in half. Mix them with linguini, fresh basil, some goat cheese, salt, and pepper. This is also REALLY good.

Next question: Do You Have a Great Salsa Canning Recipe?