It’s summertime, and our gardens and farmer’s markets are ripe with tomatoes. Here are five of my favorite ways to enjoy this summer favorite!

Caprese Salad

My FAVORITE thing… I feel like I could eat this all of the time. I like to use the smallest tomatoes I can find and cut in half. I loosely chop basil and sprinkle it over, then take a large ball of mozzarella, and cut it into small pieces about the size of the tomatoes, and toss in a bowl with olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar. My favorite.

Baby Tomatoes with Herbs and Mozzarella

Yeah, it’s a take on caprese too, but different none-the-less. Cutting tomatoes in halves, and throwing them under the broiler with cheese on top is an easy way to have a great snack.

Tomato Pie

Who doesn’t love some tomato pie? Wait… it’s not for everyone? I don’t believe it. While it’s not everyone’s favorite, I hadn’t had this northern treat until moving up here about 4 years ago. Making your own version out of fresh farmer’s market tomatoes would be a great summer treat! Or, if tomato pie isn’t your thing, why not try your hand at your own pizza, with fresh tomatoes!

Canning tomatoes

My parents live on a farm, and I love using canned tomatoes all year. Canning is a great way to reap the benefits of summer all year. They are perfect in the winter to come back to for an all day crockpot cooking of pasta sauce or a chili. Check out this online “How-To” for more information. It’s a great weekend project for those days it’s just too hot to go outside.

Fried Green Tomatoes

Who doesn’t love fried green tomatoes? Wait…I live in the North now. No one KNOWS what they are! If you haven’t had them before, get ready to become addicted. There is something about a green tomato, when fried, totally crispy, that makes for a delicious snack. It’s just so damn southern, and makes me think of home every time I make them!

Ingredients:

  • Green tomatoes (REALLY green… not about to turn)
  • 1 cup of “corn flakes,” smashed into crumbs
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 3 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons Italian herbs (or 1 ½ tablespoons of oregano and basil, respectively)
  • 1 cup of milk with 1 egg whisked lightly in (Or almond milk for a vegan option)
  • Veggie oil for frying

*You will also need a wire rack to put them on after frying, as well as three bowls for dredging.

Method:

Heat oil in a pan on medium high, and slice your tomatoes about a half an inch thick. You should have your bowls lined up like this:

  • Bowl one: Milk/egg
  • Bowl two: Corn flakes
  • Bowl three: flour, with the spices tossed in

Take your slices and dredge in the milk and egg, then press gently into the cornflakes on both sides, and then into the flour, then drop into the oil.

Be careful not to splatter on yourself! They are hot. I like to have mine a nice golden brown, so take a fork and lift after a few minutes, and check the status. When one side is getting a nice, golden brown, take tongs, and flip. If they are browning really fast, turn down the heat a little.

When they are golden on both sides, place on a rack and let the oil drip off.  If you are cooking a lot of these, and you want them to stay crispy, keep the oven on 100-200, and place the done tomatoes, after they sit on the rack for a few minutes, on a pan, to keep nice and crispy!