Cooking and Fresh Garden Tomatoes & Wine

Fresh tomatoes from the garden make great pizza toppings
Fresh tomatoes from the garden make great pizza toppings

Cooking with fresh tomatoes from the garden

Garden tomato season is peaking. What to do with all the tomatoes that are ready at once? Slice them or dice them and prepare these great dishes.

Cooking ideas with fresh garden tomatoes

Recipes and wine - how to pair and match
Bruschetta – the fabulous appetizer made from garden tomatoes

If you need help planning your tomato garden, try Arbolex Landscape, a Bay Area landscaper who can plot your vegetable garden for your space.

  1. Fresh Salsa: Whip up a batch of fresh salsa with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime juice, and chili peppers. Serve it with tortilla chips or as a topping for grilled meats and fish.  Pico de Gallo is so good!
  2. Caprese Salad: Create a classic Caprese salad with sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, basil leaves, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bruschetta: Top slices of toasted baguette with diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, and a touch of balsamic vinegar for a flavorful appetizer. Bruschetta ideas
  4. Tomato Soup: Make a creamy tomato soup or a chunky tomato basil soup. These soups are perfect for freezing and enjoying later.
  5. Pasta Sauce: Prepare a large batch of tomato sauce to use in various pasta dishes like spaghetti, lasagna, or baked ziti. Recipe for one pot pasta with cherry tomatoes
  6. Stuffed Tomatoes: Hollow out large tomatoes and fill them with a mixture of cooked grains, herbs, and cheese. Bake until tender and serve as a side dish or a light meal.
  7. Tomato Sandwiches: Layer thick slices of tomato between bread with fresh lettuce, bacon, and mayo for a classic BLT sandwich. Recipe for tomato sandwich with avocado and Basil
  8. Tomato Salad: Create a tomato salad with various colors and sizes of tomatoes, red onion, cucumbers, olives, and feta cheese. Dress it with a simple vinaigrette.
  9. Make Pizza toppings: You can make these three pizza dishes with fresh garden tomatoes. Here are some pizza toppings to try.

Pizza with tomatoes and Pesto

The best of both worlds: fresh Basil with fresh tomatoes. Take that fresh Basil and make a delicious Pesto. Making Pesto is easy and tastes great.

You can use regular tomatoes or cherry tomatoes on a Pesto pizza. Slice the tomatoes or cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Place them in a strainer so the juice runs out. Salt and pepper the tomatoes and discard the strained liquid. Give it 20 minutes to drain the juice. Too much juice on the dough will make it soggy.

We like to apply a light layer of Pesto as soon as we take the pizza out of the oven, but it can also go on the dough before cooking. Prosciutto lovers can put slices on the dough, then the tomatoes, onions, or whatever. Cheese, of course, we like a combo of Mozzarella and Fontina. Pesto goes a long way, so not too much. Less is more.

cherry tomato pizza
Pizza ready for the oven

Margherita Pizza

Margherita Pizza – make with fresh tomato sauce

Margherita Pizza is one of the most popular pizzas. It is on the menu at just about any pizza joint. The sauce is often made from canned plum or Marzano tomatoes. If you have fresh tomatoes from the garden, make the sauce with those tomatoes. They do not have to be plum tomatoes. There are plenty of recipes online for making tomato sauce for the Margherita pizza. Here is one to give you a start.

Pizza with Fresh Tomatoes and Herbs

Sliced black olives and the cherry tomatoes

Vegetarians will enjoy using fresh tomatoes with onion slices (we like red) and chopped herbs. The herbs we use are Oregano, Parsley, and Thyme; one tablespoon combined will do the job. Place a layer of cheese of your choice and then the tomatoes. Add the onions and half the fresh herbs. When finished baking, add the remaining herbs. Another excellent ingredient to add once the pizza is cooked, green or black olive slices. Recipe suggestion

Any suggestions from readers on pizza toppings with fresh tomatoes?

Pizza Stuff

Wines to serve with fresh tomato dishes

Tomatoes have some acidity so consider this when pairing wine with your dishes.  The Italians love their pasta and tomato sauce. They have a love affair with Barbera and tomato sauce dishes.  Chianti , which is mainly Sangiovese, is another great match.  We love Zinfandel with pasta and pizza made with fresh tomatoes or tomato sauce.  We also like Rhone-style wines that have mostly the Grenache varietal in the blend. Here are a few of our favorites and where to buy them.

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