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5 Ways to Use Garden-Fresh Tomatoes

5 Ways to Use Garden-Fresh Tomatoes

Summer means lots and lots of fresh tomatoes. Whether you have your own garden bounty, or are loaded up with fresh-from-the-farmersí-market bargains, tomatoes are so versatile; they are great in everything from soups to salads, and omelets to salsa.

Here are some quick tips to get you started:

  • Use chopped tomatoes in spaghetti sauce, chili, or canned soups to add nutritional value and a homemade taste.
  • Make your own salsa by mixing diced tomatoes, garlic, onion, fresh lime juice, pepper, and cilantro.
  • Use tomatoes to add color and flavor to guacamole.
  • For flavor, add chopped tomatoes to any stir-fry during the last minute of cooking.
  • Marinate chunks of tomatoes and mozzarella cheese in Italian dressing about 30 minutes. Serve with lettuce.

And, here are some links to a few of my favorite tomato recipes to get you even more inspired.

Tomato salad. There are so many variations of this, but hereís a simple Grilled Zucchini and Grape Tomato Salad that combines tomatoes with zucchini, something that every gardener has plenty of now.†

Tomato Gazpacho. Tomato soup is such a great comfort food in the cold weather. But, soup in the summer? Fresh tomatoes make a great cold soup, this Easiest Garden Gazpacho not only features your garden fresh tomatoes, but also cucumbers, basil and cilantro. The bonus is that the more itís chilled, the more the flavors are blended together. A perfect way to cool off on a hot summer evening.

Tomato Juice. Making homemade tomato juice is a great way to use all of those over ripe tomatoes and to get some extra nutrition from your tomatoes.

Fresh tomato sauce. This simple sauce takes advantage of that fresh tomato taste and and can be used in other recipes by adding ingredients later on.

You can also try your hand at canning your tomatoes so that you can have that summer taste during the winter. Check out these great tips from my friends at Growing a Greener World.


12 More Tasty Tomato Recipes




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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.


+ add your own
6:15AM PDT on Sep 3, 2013

we love tomatoes and use it extensively......our favorite is juice with salt and pepper & / chili...
tomatoes and basil are also very good friends with any pasta...:)....

9:28AM PDT on Aug 23, 2013

i love tomatoes, cooked or raw. delicious

5:11AM PDT on Aug 13, 2013

lycopene Rocks!!

1:10AM PDT on Jul 29, 2013


11:48PM PDT on Jul 25, 2013

Thanks :) I love tomatoes

2:34AM PDT on Jul 25, 2013


10:18AM PDT on Jul 21, 2013

Love tomatoes

11:32PM PDT on Jul 20, 2013

i can always use more ideas for using tomatoes...i LOVE tomatoes!

1:28AM PDT on Jul 20, 2013

I love tomatoes! thanks!

3:54AM PDT on Jul 19, 2013

Mmmmm....some yummy sounding stuff I will have to try. I think I'm going to have a bumper crop of tomatoes with all the heat we've had this summer

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