Plenty of ripe tomatoes. Either you grew them yourself (and the squirrel in your neighborhood did not eat them) or you are fortunate enough to live near a farmer’s market with the opportunity to purchase a half bushel (or a peck) at a reasonable price. What do you do with your bounty?
Besides taking a bite of a raw tomato, we enjoy BLTs for dinner. And gaspacho. And corn tomato salad. My Mexican squash recipe is coming up next week. And tomatoes onions and peppers.
Today I am going to share with you one of my family’s traditional recipes for using LOTS of tomatoes – tomatoes, onions and peppers.
But there are SO many wonderful things to do with tomatoes. Think about if you want to eat them raw, cooked or make ahead to freeze. (You could also can them, but canning is not something that happens in my kitchen!)
RInse, take a bite and enjoy!
BLT – Homemade oatmeal bread, mayo, fresh lettuce, crisp bacon and in season tomatoes. There is not a better sandwich for summer!
Gaspacho – My favorite recipe relies on precisely finely chopped vegetables for uniform flavor and texture. It is worth the work in our opinion. But it does not get made as often as I wish because it is time consuming. But you can find a quicker blender recipe.
Stuffed tomatoes with salmon or tuna salad A deceptively quick but elegant lunch.
Here are just a few of our favorites
fresh corn tomato salad – click here for the podcast and recipe
chopped tomatoes with feta and flavorful (balsamic) vinegar like Trader Joe’s Balsamic Vinegar of Modena or Fustini’s 18 year balsamic
raw with cucumbers, tomatoes feta & your favorite vinegar – like Fustini’s grapefruit or pomegranate or Pompeian red wine vinegar. Add a few olives!
tomato peach salad – one of my favorite tomatoes of all time I only make it one month a year because it is best with in season peaches and tomatoes.
Large batch for the freezer
- tomatoes, onions & peppers (recipe below)
- eggplant caper sauce
For dinner tonight
- tomato cream sauce
- stuffed tomatoes with goat cheese olives and pine nuts
- cherry tomatoes – roast with garlic, balsamic and fresh basil to serve over fish or pasta
- Mexican squash – coming next week
- Broiled tomato halves sprinkled with parmesan or olive oil and herbs
I have linked to some of my favorite recipes – I’ll be sharing more of them in the years to come. If you don’t want to wait, just email me if you want a few more . . .
Tomatoes onions and peppers
Tomatoes onions and peppers is comfort food in my house. The tomatoes cook down into a thick luscious condiment. I freeze it (and ration it) in my house so we have the taste of summer all year long.
This simple, three ingredient recipe uses LOTS of tomatoes. You are really only limited by the size of your pan. Use a wide pan so the liquid can evaporate more quickly. I can put almost 6 quarts of tomatoes in my 6 quart sauté pan! The peppers and onions (or shallots) are more of a flavoring in this dish.
This is going to cook for about an hour – maybe more. So do this while you plan to be at home. You only need to stir it occasionally after it comes to a boil.
What to do with tomatoes, onions & peppers?
- eat with chicken or turkey sausages, fish or chicken.
- freeze it and use it all year long.
- eat it with zucchini pancakes.
Only three ingredients.
- Only make this when you have in season, ripe tomatoes. If some of your ripe tomatoes have a few spots, it is ok – just cut them out and use the rest in this recipe. No one will ever know! You can also sneak a few less ripe tomatoes in here – as long as the majority are completely ripe.
- Green bell pepper
- onion or shallot
Most time consuming part – chopping the tomatoes. My tips –
- Core the tomato
- Cut in half inch slices.
- Stack two slices and slice in half inch strips.
- Turn 90 degrees and cut into half inch cubes.
- Put the tomatoes in a bowl or right into the pan.
- You will get faster after you chop several pans full!
Sweet Green Pepper
- Core your pepper and half.
- Cut each half in half again.
- If your pepper is very big, you may want to cut each half pepper into three or four pieces.
- Slice the short way into strips.
Shallots or Onions
- A medium sized shallot or onion.
- Cut off the ends and take off the outer brown layer.
- Slice the onion in half lengthwise.
- Place the onion cut side down on the cutting board.
- Cut the onion or shallot lengthwise if it is a larger one. (optional)
- Slice the shallot.
Place all the ingredients in the pan. Cook over medium high heat until the mixture comes to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Cook, cook and continue to cook. When it is done, most of the water will have evaporated from the pan. When the mixture is stirred, a trail will be left where the spoon goes. Here are two versions cooking. One is a large batch; one is a small batch, one is made with part yellow tomatoes and a mild banana pepper from my garden.
Hint: If you have a screen that will cover your pan, use it. It will keep your stove cleaner from tomato splatters!
Serve and freeze any leftovers. I freeze in one, two and three cup containers to enjoy all year.
Tomatoes, Onions and Peppers
- large saute pan
- 10-12 ripe, in season tomatoes
- 1 large green pepper
- 1 small onion or large shallot
- Cut the tomatoes: Core the tomato. Cut in half inch slices. Stack two slices and slice in half inch strips. Turn 90 degrees and cut into half inch cubes.Put the tomatoes in a bowl or right into the pan. (You will get faster after you chop several pans full!)
- Cut the pepper: Core your pepper and half. Cut each half in half again. If your pepper is very big, you may want to cut each half pepper into three or four pieces. Slice the short way into strips.
- Cut your onion or shallot: Cut off the ends and take off the outer brown layer. Slice the onion in half lengthwise.Place the onion cut side down on the cutting board. Cut the onion or shallot lengthwise if it is a larger one. (optional)Slice the shallot.
- Place all the ingredients in the pan. Cook over medium high heat until the mixture comes to a boil, stirring occasionally.
- Cook, cook and continue to cook.
- Cook for about an hour. Cover with a screen if you have one.
- When it is done, most of the water will have evaporated from the pan. When the mixture is stirred, a trail will be left where the spoon goes.
- Serve warm. Cool leftovers and freeze for summertime flavor all year!