Too Many Tomatoes!
Photo by Melody

Too Many Tomatoes!

By Marna Towne (Mrs_Ed)August 12, 2012

In just two months, another August will find me looking for new ways to use all those tomatoes from the garden. Each year I like to find a new way to take advantage of the harvest when there's too little to can, but simply too many sitting on the kitchen counter. Here are a few recipes I've discovered over the years.

Gardening picture

(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on August 7, 2008. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to promptly respond to new questions or comments.)  

A few years ago I downsized on the amount of tomato plants I grew. Although I only have a small raised bed in which to plant tomatoes, I would continue pack in a number of tomato plants.

These days I generally only plant two or three varieties. One of my favorites is Lemon Boy. This is my fifth year growing Lemon Boy, a sweet, medium-size, non-acidic fruit. This variety has good disease resistance and is a HEAVY producer. I get at least two or three times the amount from Lemon Boy as any of my reds grown along side.

By August, growing even two tomato plants has provided me with a bountiful harvest. Unfortunately at some point in August, you can't even GIVE AWAY tomatoes. Even though I preserve ("can") tomatoes, salsa and juice... sometimes I just need to use up the few pounds I have sitting on my countertop. Thus, August continually finds me searching for new ways to prepare the extra tomatoes. Here are a few of my favorites.

Roasted Tomato Soup

You'll never want to have canned soup again!

Image1 pound peeled, coarsely chopped tomatoes
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. course salt
1/2 c. celery, diced
1/2 c. carrot, diced
1/2 c. shallot, diced
2 – 4 cloves garlic to taste, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 T. butter

1/4 c. fresh basil chiffonade
1/2 c. cream, optional

Preheat oven to 450º F.

Spread tomatoes onto a baking sheet, drizzle with half of the olive oil, and sprinkle with salt.

Roast 15 minutes.

While the tomatoes are in the oven, sauté the celery, carrots, shallots and garlic in 1T. olive oil over medium-low heat. 12-15 minutes

Remove tomatoes from oven and add to the vegetable sauté. Add chicken broth, bay leaf and butter. Simmer 20 minutes over med-low heat until vegetables are tender. Approximately 20 minutes.

When all vegetables are soft, puree using either a blender stick, blender or food processor until smooth. Using a fine colander or strainer, strain out all remaining seeds or hard vegetables. Return to pan. If serving this soup warm, add cream, top with basil and serve immediately.

If you prefer a cold soup, like a gazpacho, add some chopped tomato and cucumber. Either way, a good homemade crouton on top is great.

ImageLemon Boy Sweet Tomato Chutney

This is a lovely, long cooking item to make. The spicey fragrance fills up the house.

1 head garlic, peeled and chopped
1 pc. fresh ginger (2" long, 1" inch thick and 1" wide), peeled and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 c. red wine vinegar
2 lbs. fresh Lem
on Boy tomatoes, peeled and chopped
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
1/8-1/2 t. cayenne pepper (personal preference)
2 T. golden raisins
2 T. blanched, slivered almonds

Puree the chopped garlic, ginger and 1/2 cup of the vinegar until smooth (I use the blender stick).

In a 4-quart, heavy-bottomed, place the tomatoes, the rest of the vinegar, the sugar, salt and cayenne pepper (or, if you prefer, add the cayenne at the end, a little at a time, stirring and tasting as you do so).

Bring to a boil an add the puree.

Lower heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until thick.

Add the almonds and the raisins and continue to simmer and stir another five minutes.

Cool completely. Spoon into half-pint jars and refrigerate.

Makes 2 1/2 cups.

I’ve cut the sugar in half from the original recipe. The cayenne balances the sugar, but if you don't like spicy, add it slowly and keep tasting. We've used this chutney on meats and just on crackers. It's good with cream cheese. In fact, I've made a dip before using it and cream cheese.Image

Tomato Onion Pie

Although this recipe doesn't use up that many tomatoes, it's still good as a meal with a nice green salad.

1 small sweet (Vidalia) onion, diced
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 c. fresh basil, chopped
1 c. cheddar cheese, grated
1 c. mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 c mayonnaise
3/4 lb. bacon, cooked and chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 deep dish, 9-inch pie crust

Begin by pressing the piecrust into a 9-inch pie pan and browning it in a pre-heated 350º F oven for about 8 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven and layer the sliced tomatoes on top of the browned crust. Now toss the basil and diced onions over the tomatoes.

In a separate bowl, combine cheddar, mozzarella, mayonnaise and bacon; spread the cheese mixture evenly over the tomatoes, basil and onions.

Bake the pie at 350º F, uncovered, until gold brown. This will take about 15-20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Liam's French Tomato Tart

This tasty tart recipe comes from my friend Rogue_Designer.

1 Baked Basic Butter Tart crust with cracked pepper added.
Dijon mustard
Thinly sliced and peeled tomatoes, air dried a bit to get rid of some excess water.
Swiss Cheese
Salt, pepper, olive oil
Fresh basil

Spread Dijon mustard on the bottom of baked crust.

Line with a Swiss cheese (Gruyere, works nicely).

Place peeled and slice tomatoes on top. Add pepper and olive oil, on top (just a touch) salt to taste.

Bake at 325º until cheese is melted.

Fresh basil chiffonade on top is nice too.

When there aren’t enough tomatoes to can but still too many to eat fresh, I turn to one of these three recipes. This year I'll try the fabulous Roasted Tomato Sauce recipe from "critterologist"!

  About Marna Towne  
Marna TowneI am one of those fortunate individuals who grew up on rural land that has been in my family for decades. My parents and grandparents were avid gardeners who gladly shared their love of gardening with me. Today I enjoy a small yard in town with my husband, two dogs and a cat who is in charge of us all.

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Discussion about this article:
SubjectTopic StarterRepliesViewsLast Post
Roasted Tomatoes femailmailman 1 2 Sep 9, 2012 6:07 PM
I wish I had that problem dobra1629 6 73 Aug 9, 2011 2:49 PM
DRY 'EM UP; Ground 'EM UP ; Eat 'EM UP Liquidambar2 2 51 Aug 8, 2011 6:42 AM
too many tomatoes gardengirl86 1 21 Aug 8, 2011 5:34 AM
Fresh Tomato Juice kmitch747 2 48 Aug 4, 2011 5:28 AM
Tomato Onion Pie wannadanc 6 49 Sep 14, 2009 2:09 PM
Tomato crazy DianeEG 1 25 Aug 16, 2008 5:23 PM
Roasted Tomato Soup DitchLily206 7 83 Aug 11, 2008 5:01 PM
Basil Chiffonade Kelli 3 51 Aug 7, 2008 9:00 PM
Thanks Mrs_ Ed randbponder 4 56 Aug 7, 2008 2:41 PM
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