Recipes for Your Garden Tomatoes
This year I had a plethora of tomato’s so I decided to share a few of my favorite recipes for Your Garden Tomatoes.
This year was a wonderful growing year for my tomato garden, however they all came in at the same time. Did you have a bumper crop of tomatoes’ this year too? Here are a few great recipes for your garden Tomatoes. These are my secrets on how I preserved all my tomatoes this week, by making homemade Tomato Basil Soup, Cheesy Tomato Pie, Hearty Veggie Spaghetti Sauce & Easy Peasy Caprese Salad. My Homemade Tomato Basil Soup and Spaghetti Sauce are both recipe for the Instant Pot and are perfect for freezing. I guarantee they will still taste great later in the season, for all your recipes. The tomato pie and Caprese salad are both perfect for a fresh dinner option right now, so take you pick 1 for now and 1 for later.I am also so lucky to have a nice healthy supply of basil on hand as well from my Vertical Herb Garden this year too. Last year I did a post on how to process and save all your herbs called the Herbivores Harvest, and the majority of my basil went to making pesto sauce, which was so handy to have in my stores. For that reason, I planted double the amount this year which allowed me to harvest extra for this soup recipe. So my tip is take these things into account when you are planning your garden for the season, and plant the things that you love and will use throughout the season as well as into the off season with a little storage prep.
The Types of Tomatoes We Planted:
I get asked a lot about what kind of tomatoes I plant and use in my recipes. The truth is I like a variety so here is what all went into the mix. The exact measurements will vary based on how many are harvested at any given time.
Sun Golds – These are rapidly becoming one of the most popular varieties of cherry tomatoes of all time. Just one taste and you’ll know why, they have a sweet-tart flavor that is simply amazing. The beautiful golden-orange fruits are borne in large clusters. The flavor develops early, so this little tomato is great for snacking a week before full maturity, when it becomes very sweet and delicious. Available from growers, Burpee and Bonnies.
Golden Pear Heirlooms – Get ready for an endless summer supply of mild flavored, pear-shaped tomatoes. These tiny tomatoes are borne in large clusters and are one of the prettiest tomatoes in the garden and are beautiful in salads! This variety is known to bear fruit dependably through hot summer weather, so they are perfect in Georgia. Available from growers like, Bonnies. Grape Tomatoes – This is a class of tomatoes is believed to have derived from southeast Asia in origin, and is shaped similarly to the oval plum tomatoes. They are small in size, and have the sweetness of cherry tomatoes. Grape tomatoes produce small and typically oblong fruits. Introduced to the worldwide market in the 1990s, they have gained substantial popularity, due at least in part to their higher sugar content compared to regular tomatoes, and due to their smaller, bite-sized shape.
Roma Tomato – is called a plum tomato, and it popularly used both for canning and producing tomato paste because of their slender and firm nature. Commonly found in supermarkets across the United Stated and in some countries, Roma tomatoes are also known as Italian tomatoes or Italian plum tomatoes.
Cherry Tomato – This is a very common type of small round tomato which is believed to be an intermediate genetic admixture between wild currant-type of tomato and domesticated garden tomato. Cherry tomatoes can range in size from the size of nickel up to the size of a golf ball. Usually red, there are other varieties such as yellow, green, and an heirloom black that exist.
- This year we added a variety called Chocolate Sprinkle Heirloom Cherry tomatoes, which were AMAZING! So good in the Caprese Salad and in regular garden salad, heck Ron would eat them straight off the vine, LOL!
My Instant Pot Tomato Basil Soup:
This recipe is so easy and the Instant Pot makes it quick and easy. First you want to add your mixture of tomatoes, onion, and garlic into your Instant Pot, along with your stock, to the fill line. Tip: I find that quartering my Roma tomatoes make them fit a little better into the Instant Pot. *My recipe is based on a Mini 3 Qt. Instant Pot you can easily double to accommodate a 6 Qt Size.
Homemade Tomato Basil Soup
- Instant Pot
- Cutting Board
- Stock Pot
- Large Mixing Bowl
- 1 lb Tomatoes Fresh
- 1 Onion Sweet (vidalia onion), Minced
- 2 tbsp Garlic Minced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp Penzey's Season Salt
- 1 tbsp Butter Flavored Olive Oil
- 16 oz Vegetable Stock
- 2 cups Basil Fresh, Minced
- 1 sprig Thyme garnish
- 4 leaves Basil (additional optional) garnish
- Add mixture of tomatoes, butter, onion, and garlic to your Instant Pot. Add stock to fill line.
- Secure the lid and seal the steam release valve. Select Manual Setting or Pressure Cook to cook at high pressure for 15 minutes. It takes around 8- 10 minutes for the pressure to build in the pot, before the cooking will start and the pot will flip to the "On" setting. A great tip is that you can sauté the onions in the butter, to warm your pot which can cut the heating time in half.
- When the cooking cycle is done, allow the pressure to naturally release before opening the pot, this will take approximately 10 minutes. When the screen reads L0:10 you can vent the steam valve to release any remaining pressure. Then it will be safe to remove the lid
- Add seasoned salt, olive oil, and basil to the tomatoes. Then use a blender or an immersion blender to smooth the tomatoes into a puree or sauce. You can actually use this base for chili or spaghetti sauce if you like. If you had extra stock it can be added to thin the mixture to a more soupy consistency or you can add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of water as needed.
- This soup can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge, or you can freeze it for up to 3-6 months in a freezer container.
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When I serve my Tomato Basil Soup I like to add some fresh slivers of basil on top and fresh thyme leaves as well. The pretty green always looks so nice against the rich red soup.
I also like to add some Parmesan cheese crisps as well, you can purchase them premade or sometimes I make them homemade. These can be made homemade in the oven by baking parmesan cheese in round disks for 5-7 minutes at 350 degrees in your oven, or for the 1 minute in the microwave.
My Homemade Tomato Pie with Cheesy Parmesan Basil Crust:
This recipe was another great way to use up your mix of garden tomatoes and basil. First you will want to slice up the tomatoes and bake them in oven at 425 degrees for approximately 20 minutes on a wire rack. This is also a great time to blind bake your crust.
For the crust I used a pre made refrigerated pie crust and rolled 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and 2 tbsp of fresh basil slivers into the crust. Then blind baked for 12 minutes at 425 degrees. Once the tomatoes are baked you want to layer them into your pie crust in a single layer, and add a layer of pimento cheese. It can be homemade or or store bought. Add 1 tsp of minced garlic to the top of your pimento cheese layer and optional cooked and crumbled bacon, or real bacon bits. Then layer a final layer of tomatoes topped with a nice thick shredded Parmesans and sharp cheddar cheese.
Bake for 35-45 minutes at 425 degree or until golden brown. Allow to cool before cutting and serving for best results.
Another great tomato recipe is a My Easy Peasy Caprese Salad, recipe linked here. It is perfect for those hot summer days when heating up the kitchen to cook just sounds awful. This is cool delicious dish that perfect by itself or for a more filling dinner option try adding in some 3 Cheese Tortellini for for a little more heft. I have found that addition is a big hit with kids of all ages.
Another tasty recipe is my homemade hearty spaghetti sauce which is made from my tomatoes with the addition of a few of veggies to make the perfect addition to any Meatless Monday pasta dinner. It is also a easy recipe to make in your Instant Pot in large batches and freeze for a later date if you doing some like a couple of my other meal planning posts seen here:
Hearty Veggie Spaghetti Sauce
- Instant Pot 3 Qt. Mini ( can be doubled for a larger 6 Qt. Pot)
- 1 lb Roma Heirloom Tomatoes
- 2 medium Onions Sweet (vidalia onion), Minced
- 2 cloved Garlic Minced
- 2 medium Zucchini Diced
- 8 oz Mushrooms Fresh, Sliced
- 1 tbsp Dried Basil
- 2 tsp Dried rosemary
- 2 tsp Dried oregano
- 2 tsp Garlic powder
- 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp Ground Fennel
- 2 tbsp Basil Olive Oil or Tuscan Oil Olive
- 2 tsp Penzey's Season Salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Add mixture of tomatoes, 1/2 onion, all herbs, spices and garlic to your Instant Pot.
- Secure the lid and seal the steam release valve. Select Manual Setting or Pressure Cook to cook at high pressure for 15 minutes. It takes around 8- 10 minutes for the pressure to build in the pot, before the cooking will start and the pot will flip to the "On" setting. A great tip is that you can sauté the onions in the 1 tsp of basil oil, to warm your pot which can cut the heating time in half.
- When the cooking cycle is done, allow the pressure to naturally release before opening the pot, this will take approximately 10 minutes. When the screen reads L0:10 you can vent the steam valve to release any remaining pressure. Then it will be safe to remove the lid.
- Then use a blender or an immersion blender until the majority of the tomatoes are smooth and turned into a puree or sauce. You can actually use this base for chili if you like. If you have extra stock it can be added to thin the mixture to a more soupy consistency which is how I make my tomato basil soup above.
- Next stir in all the zucchini, mushrooms and remaining diced onion for a hearty vegetarian tomato sauce. *(You can also add in a ground meat of protein during this second re-cook) Secure lid and set to high pressure cooking setting for 10 minutes. Allow to naturally vent for 10-12 minutes.
- This sauce can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge, or you can freeze it for up to 3-6 months in a freezer container.
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