A few months ago, I was sneering at the pink, grainy tomatoes at the grocery store and fantasizing about the prospect of growing our own flavorful and interesting heirloom varieties. I'll admit, when we eventually planted them last May, I was sort of skeptical. Our garden plot is located a few neighborhoods away, and our schedules only allow us to stop by on weekends. Not to mention, this was my first attempt at a garden. But Kurt had the gardening chops so we planted away.

Thankfully, our garden has proven to be a hard ass. With help from Kurt's mom and lots of rain, the tomatoes get along without much coddling. Now we have 'maters coming out of our ears. Sadly, our cucumber and broccoli plants bit the dust, but our tomatoes have flourished! Of the four varieties we planted, T.C. Jones is our favorite. These are bright yellow, lemony sweet beefsteak tomatoes, originating from our very own Kentucky.

All of our plants were purchased from Thieneman’s. Last spring, they carried over a hundred different varieties of heirloom tomatoes. Here's what we decided to try:

garden tomatoes

To take advantage of these lovely fruits, we're trying lots of new recipes. Already, we've made a few batches of fried green tomatoes. Then there was that tomato and goat cheese tart and today, I have caprice salad in my lunch box.

Can anyone suggest any good tomatoey recipes? If you grow them, what is your favorite tomato? We'll definitely stick with Mr. Jones, but I'd like to try some different kinds next year.



  1. this is my holy grail tomato recipe. it keeps well, is easy to store (meaning, it does not involve canning), and never gets old. it's kind of like pesto, in that if you have some around you can throw it in just about anything and make it taste better.

    basically, just take some roma tomatoes, cut them in half, drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle on some salt and pepper, and cook them on 250F for about 3 hours. if you want to use up bigger tomatoes, the flavor will be a bit different and they'll be a bit sloppier, but the method still works; i just cut them up into quarters and keep a bit more of an eye on them, as the cooking time will vary depending on their size. for smaller, cherry or pear tomatoes, just reduce you cooking time by about half.

    they'll last for about 3-4 months in the freezer or 3-4 days in the fridge. throw 'em in sandwhiches, on a pizza, in a tart, with some pasta, in a scone, on a cracker, -- they are just tasty. the leftover oil from the pan makes some damn good bruchetta.

    and as for tomatoes i like, i am nuts about the purple ones. i grew a black krim this year and it is trying to give a second crop right now -- the first was so big i was giving them away, which i sort of hate to do. i keep trying with the cherokee purple, but it never does much -- i'm sticking with the krim next year. i did a yellow pear last year, and it did great as well -- i think the flavor is less acidic than the red variety you have. i would actually occasionally just pop one into my mouth, which is a high compliment for me to pay a tomato.

    yours look pretty good by the way... nice and gnarly!

  2. Dang. Thanks! I will try that. How do you freeze them, in storage bags?

    I want to try a purple one next year. If anything, because they are pretty. Do they taste any different?

  3. I saw a recipe in a Lebanese cook book for baked stuffed tomatoes. It's a similar meal to stuffed bell peppers. But you hollow out the tomato and fill it with seasoned ground beef, rice, onion, and pine nuts. You can get the arabic spices at any middle eastern grocery store. Let me tell you, delish!

  4. Oh, that's a good idea! I have not thought of stuffing them. Thanks, Nadia.

  5. ahh fried green tomatoes are the best! So nothing can top that.
    Nothing fancy...I like the basic stack of tomato, buffalo mozz, basil & balsamic vinagrette...or broil it on some Italian bread with garlic

  6. tomato sauce. tomato sauce. tomato sauce. i just made some today by dicing up onions, garlic, and peppers (from the garden), and then cooking them down. i added a tad bit of tomato paste, water, basil, oregano, lemon thyme, salt, and pepper,and then blended it up with an immersion blender.

    alton brown does a similar version (you can google it). my favorite thing right now is homegrown tomatoes with watermelon and feta...the recipe is mark bittman's 101 salads recipe. fabulous

  7. I make my tomato sauce that way too, only when they aren't in season, I used canned tomatoes. I think I might try that watermelon business. Sounds interesting.

  8. Oh my gosh! I am so impressed!! Next year it is my goal to grow something in a garden. You will def. be my inspiration!


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