I love tomatoes! And, it’s still tomato season in Ontario. Maybe, like me, you have a few too many in your fridge if you were tempted by the tomato baskets at the grocery store and at farmer’s markets. It’s been hot and dry this season, making conditions perfect for growing beautiful tomatoes. So, I thought I would share a few recipe ideas and links in hopes of inspiring you to try something new.
But, first, let’s take a look at why tomatoes deserve our attention:
- Although they have a ‘season’, tomatoes are available year-round (thanks to hot-houses) so they are affordable and you can try different recipes all year long.
- There are so many varieties of tomatoes that come in different shapes, colors, and sizes (roma, plum, heirloom, beefsteak, grape, cherry, etc. ) making it easy to mix things up and keep dishes colorful.
- Tomatoes are good for you: they are 95 % water, contain Vitamin C, and are low in calories.
- Tomatoes make a great snack, especially the smaller ones that can easily be packed into a lunch or for eating on the go.
- There are so many ways to use tomatoes: in sauces, in quick salads, and in cooked dishes. My family does not can or jar tomatoes, but I know that many families have the tradition of spending a fun day making tomato sauce to be stored and used all year long.
- Finally, tomatoes are easy to serve. They are often my fall-back dish. You can slice them, drizzle them with oil, sprinkle them with salt and pepper, add some basil, and you have a salad in minutes.
While I was researching this post, I came across this fun fact: An Ontario Member of Parliament, Mike Colle, proposed a bill to make July 15th Tomato Day and to make the tomato the official vegetable of Ontario. The current status of the bill is: First Reading Carried, so stay tuned!
Here are a few of my favorite tomato dishes in photos. There are so many obvious dishes that I haven’t put in here like caprese salad, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, pizza, and green salads. Because the point of this post was to get you thinking about some different tomato uses, I’ve linked recipes rather than including them in full.
Quinoa Tabouli: Being Lebanese, I grew up eating tabouli as the main salad at family meals. My mom makes it 3-4 times a week, and it makes sense to have a quinoa version. Here’s one you can try from Epicurious.
Tomato Tart: When I watched Martha Stewart make this dish, I knew it was for me because the pate brise makes this dish more fancy and even a bit sweet. I use this recipe as a guideline and use whatever cheeses I have in the fridge. It’s one of my favorite dishes this time of year.
Israeli Salad: This is a staple in many Middle Eastern restaurants and my husband and one daughter love it. The ingredients are simple: tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and parsley. Some recipes call for bell peppers, but I omitted them here. Sometimes I add the dried mint, sometimes not. Here’s one recipe you can try.
Bruschetta: We love this dish because it tastes so fresh. My daughter even has leftovers the next day as her after-school snack. There are lots of recipes out there, including this one.
Loubieh Bi Zayt: This is one of my favorite Lebanese dishes because I love vegetarian food. My mom makes this dish for me all the time and I like it because I get to eat it using the pita bread as a ‘spoon’! The name literally means ‘beans in oil’ but it’s basically sauteed onions, beans, and tomatoes in a reduced tomato sauce. Here’s a recipe to try.
I’d love to hear about your favorite tomato dishes! Enjoy!Email This Post