Get your fill of them morning, noon and night while they are in season

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Try eating Eggs in Tomato Cups for breakfast or brunch.We have plenty to smile about as we view our gardens these days — the tomatoes are coming in strong.

My husband, Mark, has started bringing them home from his Luscher Farm garden by the tray, so the wheels are starting to turn in my mind for unique ways to use them, as they will be appearing at every meal for the next few weeks.

Eat tomatoes for breakfast? You bet — they taste great with eggs of all kinds. I love a poached egg sitting atop of slice of tomato and flecked with ribbons of basil. And these Eggs in Tomato Cups would really brighten up a buffet table quite nicely.

Eggs in Tomato Cups

Makes 4 servings

4 large tomatoes

4 large eggs

3 tablespoons of cream

Sprigs of dill or chiffonade basil

Freshly ground black pepper, salt

Wash the tomatoes, slice off a “lid” and hollow them out, being careful not to pierce the wall of the tomato.

Place tomatoes in a baking dish, then season them with salt and pepper and cook in a preheated 400º F oven for 3 minutes.

Remove the baking dish with the tomatoes from the oven; pour a spoonful of cream into each and then break an egg into each tomato and return to the oven. Cook until the egg whites are set. Garnish with either dill or basil and serve.

Tomato soup is a lunchtime standard and if you want to kick it up a notch make your own and use roasted tomatoes to heighten the flavor. Ina Garten’s Roasted Tomato Basil Soup will showcase your homegrown beauties to perfection

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Makes 6 to 8 servings

3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

2 cups yellow onions, chopped (2 onions)

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, with juice

4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

1 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

1 quart chicken stock or water

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in one layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer the soup uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. Taste for seasoning. Serve hot or cold.

Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, 1999.

Tomatoes have long been a delicious item on the appetizer menu. Who doesn’t love a tomato bruschetta or caprese salad? French cooks have a knack for turning the lowliest of foods into manna from heaven. All this elegant galette needs is a green salad, some crusty French bread and a glass of wine to make your family and friends certain they are eating at a sideway café in Paris!

French Tomato Galette

Serves 4 to 6

Flour for dusting work surface

1 piecrust, either homemade or purchased

2 large yellow tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 large red tomato, sliced 1/4 inch thick

8 ounces mozzarella, sliced or grated

1/4 cup chiffonade basil leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoons red pepper flakes

Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Sprinkle flour on a work surface. Roll out pie dough to form a 10-inch circle and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Overlap and alternate the different tomatoes and mozzarella slices in the center of the dough, leaving a 3-inch border. Scatter the basil leaves on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and red pepper flakes. Fold the uncovered edges of the dough inward over the filling to create a pleated crust. Brush edges and top of galette with olive oil.

Place in oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven to a cutting board. Slice and serve.

And for dinner — nothing beats this Fresh Tomato Sauce Sicilian! Eaten over pasta by itself or used as the base for lasagna or other dishes, its bright flavor is far superior to what you can ever buy. We try to capture the taste of summer by canning as much of this sauce as we can, using homegrown tomatoes. A jar of this, along with a package of homemade pasta makes a very special gift for teachers or friends during the holiday season.

Fresh Tomato Sauce Sicilian

Makes about 5 quarts

The recipe calls for fresh and canned tomatoes. I substitute 10 to 12 cups fresh tomatoes for the 4 28-ounce canned tomatoes. Feel free to experiment with both.

1/4 cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

9 cups cored and chopped very ripe fresh tomatoes

4 28-ounce cans whole tomatoes, crushed with juice

1/4 cup parsley

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 cup chicken stock

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or fresh to taste)

6 tablespoons butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat an 8 to 10 quart heavy bottom pot and add the oil, garlic and onion. Saute until the onion is clear. Add the remaining ingredients except the butter and salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and gently cook, uncovered for 4 hours, stirring often. Stir in the butter and add salt and pepper to taste.

Adapted from The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Italian by Jeff Smith, 1993

And yes, tomatoes can be eaten for dessert, too. Try this recipe for a Green Tomato and Apple Pie, reminiscent of mincemeat pie.

Granny’s Green Tomato-Apple Pie

Makes 6- 8 servings

3/4 cup seedless raisins

2 cups seeded, diced green tomatoes

2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 9-inch double pie crust

1 1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 425ºF. Wash raisins and set aside. In a large bowl combine the tomatoes, apples, lemon zest, lemon juice and vinegar. In a separate bowl combine the salt, sugar, flour, cinnamon and ginger and mix well. Roll out 1 of the piecrusts to fit a pie plate and place in the plate. Set aside.

Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Pour into pie shell. Dot top with butter and then add top crust and slit the top of the pie. Bake 15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 350º F and bake for another 45 minutes.

It’s always a sad day when the last of the tomatoes has been picked. Those sold in the stores just don’t have that same, sun-warmed flavor, so be sure to get your fill of the gems morning, noon and night! Bon Appetit! Eat something wonderful!

Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at 503-636-1281 ext 101 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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