Tomato Matters

Navigation Menu if ( function_exists( 'soliloquy_slider' ) ) soliloquy_slider( '1219' );

Use Up Some of Those Cherry Tomatoes

Posted by on Aug 5, 2013 in recipes, tomatoes galore, Uncategorized |

Cherry tomatoesGot a Bumper Crop of Cherry Tomatoes? Try…..

Sweet Million, Sungold, Black Cherry… All it takes is a few cherry tomato plants and you will mostly likely be overwhelmed with cherry tomatoes.  No matter how wonderful it is to munch your way through the garden, how many can you really eat at one time?

There’s that time, early in the growing season when I’m feeling impatient and yearning for a ripe tomato.  Too soon for most of the heirlooms to come in, I know I can at least count on having cherry tomatoes to eat. But, that was then and this is now. We’re at the height of the season and the kitchen counter is completely covered in big, meaty tomatoes. I sell them, I give them away, I freeze and I can them.  I can’t make salsas, sauces and salads fast enough. And, that doesn’t even begin to take into account the cherries…

So, today I’ve decided to focus on how to use up a bowl or two of today’s cherry tomato harvest.  Roasting cherry tomatoes in a really low oven is one of the easiest ways to use them up and the result is an incredibly tasty and versatile addition to almost any recipe.   Roasting them today will make you really happy in the winter when you’re craving a hearty tomato sauce. Here’s how to roast cherry tomatoes (or plum tomatoes) to use immediately in a multitude of recipes or to save for a later date. Note that I haven’t specified any quantities. That’s because you can adapt this recipe for any quantity of tomatoes. As a starting point I can tell you that for 4 cups of tomatoes I used ¼ cup olive oil and 2 teaspoons of chopped thyme.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Cherry, grape or small Roma tomatoes
cloves of garlic, unpeeled
extra virgin olive oil
chopped fresh thyme

kosher salt & freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 225°F.  Cut each cherry tomato in half crosswise or plum tomato lengthwise. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Place the unpeeled cloves of garlic around the tomatoes. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top, just enough to make the tomatoes glisten. Sprinkle with thyme and pinch of salt and pepper.

Bake the tomatoes in the oven for about three hours. The tomatoes will shrivel and dry out a bit, but some juice will remain..

Use the roasted tomatoes immediately or let them cool to use later.  If storing them in the refrigerator, cover them with some extra olive oil.  Your oven roasted tomatoes can also be frozen in airtight containers.

Now, here’s another recipe for a cherry tomato dish that I know you’ll love.  I made this one for dinner last night and it was really tasty.  I put the leftovers in the refrigerator over night and it’s even better. There’s not a bite left.

Herbed Cherry Tomatoes


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
4 cups cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Heat the olive oil in a saute pan large enough to hold all the tomatoes in one layer. Add the garlic to the oil and cook over a medium heat for just a minute.  You don’t want the garlic to brown but to soften slightly. Canvases, finishing & tomatoes 048

Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to pop. Remove the pan from the heat when several of the tomatoes have popped and serve hot or at room temperature.

Read More

Laura’s Favorite Tomato Sauce with Meatballs

Posted by on Dec 5, 2012 in recipes |

Best Tasting Tomato Sauce with Meatballs


1 pound ground pork

1 pound ground lean beef

1 large onion, minced

2 cups fresh bread crumbs

½ cup red wine

2 eggs

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley




1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 stalk celery, trimmed and chopped

1 carrot, peeled and

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

½ cup red wine

2 ½ pounds tomatoes

Fresh parsley leaves

6 basil leaves roughly torn

1 teaspoon salt

Ground Black Pepper

Red Pepper Flakes

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Heat olive oil in large saucepan.  Add onion and carrots, sauté for a minute.  Add celery and garlic, continue to sauté over a gently flame until softened. Add the tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper

Add basil for last 5 minutes of cooking.


Puree sauce in blender to desired thickness.

To make meatballs:

Gently beat eggs to combine

Add to other ingredients.  Gently work ingredients together until just combined. Do not over-work. Gently form 1 ½  inch balls with meat mixture, being careful not to overwork or pack the meat.

Place on baking sheet and refrigerate, covered, for at least one hour.

Remove meatballs from the refrigerator.  Pour a small amount of olive oil in the skillet to coat the bottom.  Brown the meatballs on all sides over medium heat. Transfer meatballs to the tomato sauce and cook for 20 minutes.  Place meatballs on a sandwich with an ample dollop of sauce.  Top with sliced mozzarella, sautéed onions or bell peppers, if desired.

Read More

Making Laura’s Signature Gazpacho

Posted by on Aug 7, 2012 in recipes |

We’re always excited each season when the tomatoes start to come in. But it’s when there are enough ripe, big tomatoes to make Gazpacho that we declare that Summer has officially arrived!


Laura’s Signature Gazpacho



 1 ½ cups fresh breadcrumbs

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 gloves garlic

1 cucumber

1 orange bell pepper

1 large red onion

4 large, ripe fresh tomatoes

2 cups tomato juice, chilled

2 cups cold water

¼ cup red wine vinegar

salt and freshly ground pepper


In a food processor, blend the breadcrumbs, olive oil and garlic until smooth and combined. Scrape down sides of bowl once or twice.

Peel the cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Coarsely chop. Place in food processor.

Remove the ribs and seeds from the pepper and chop coarsely.  Add to processor.

Peel and chop the red onion. Add to food processor.

Peel and coarsely chop tomatoes. Add to the food processor.

Process the vegetables until they are very small but texture still remains. Transfer vegetable mixture to a large bowl, cover tightly and chill for several hours.

Using a whisk, work in the chilled tomato juice, cold water and vinegar.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Read More