Philadelphia, PA - Tomatoes are one of the most versatile vegetables available. Experiment with new tomato recipes each week during summer harvesting in your backyard garden. New Jersey may get a bad rep for traffic, accents, and Snookie, but we should take pride in our tomatoes. When the Ramapo tomato disappeared in the 1980s, gardeners initiated an outreach effort asking Rutgers University to bring it back.
1. Eat Them Raw
The Jersey tomato is an iconic American heirloom variety; we all recognize its iconic appearance: an orange-red, slightly flattened sphere featuring thick, meaty flesh with jelly-like seed pockets and jelly-like seed pockets. Its flavor is unmistakably balanced, so much so that many travel great distances to find one!
Bob and his granddaughter carefully tend their plants daily, picking ripe ones to take to their farm stand when ready. Their vintage pickup truck serves as transport for these stunning red gems grown all across Virginia this summer.
Raw tomatoes are so delectable they make a delicious addition to salads or sandwiches, pairing well with fresh herbs, avocado, and soft cheeses.
2. Make a Tomato Sauce
If you have more tomatoes than can be consumed immediately, try this straightforward homemade tomato sauce recipe. By simmering over an extended period, this sauce allows its flavors to come together beautifully and thicken further.
Add light coconut milk for an indulgent vegan-friendly sauce (but regular whole dairy milk or cream is delicious too)! This tomato sauce recipe makes a beautiful base for pasta or any dish calling for hearty red sauces.
Score tomatoes with a shallow X on one end and plunge them into boiling water until their skins loosen, about one minute. Cool in an ice bath, peel, and chop as soon as cool enough.
3. Make a Tomato Pie
Tomato pie marks the return of summer in many southern homes and is an easy, delicious way to use juicy Jersey tomatoes. Making it requires only minimal ingredients.
To avoid an unappetizingly wet pie, it is crucial that tomato slices be salted and the juice drained off before being assembled into the pie. Also, make sure to blind-bake your crust!
Combine sliced tomatoes with kosher salt, and set them in a colander lined with paper towels for several minutes to absorb any extra moisture and juice that accumulates during this process. Pat them dry with more paper towels. Combine your drained tomatoes with mayonnaise, shredded cheese, garlic powder, and hot sauce.
4. Make a Tomato Soup
Cooking tomatoes turns them sweet and gives your soup an irresistibly creamy texture. Add pepper, red chili flakes, or cinnamon for additional flavor!
Brown butter croutons add an irresistibly crunchy crunch to this sweet soup, providing the perfect contrast in flavor and texture. Making these easy additions while the soup simmers will give this mealtime treat extra crunch!
This tomato soup should taste just the way it's meant to. With only minimal ingredients needed and plenty of actual tomato flavor thanks to roasting the tomatoes and garlic together for extra caramelization and sweetness, this dish delivers precisely what its name promises.
5. Make a Tomato Salad
Tomatoes taste best when allowed to mature on the vine, and Jersey tomatoes have become widely recognized for this characteristic. Unfortunately, they're too delicate for commercial harvesting or long-distance shipping but remain highly sought-after.
Fresh tomato salad is an easy and flavorful way to enjoy a juicy Jersey tomato. Mixing in flat-leaf parsley and the correct type of garlic (round continental/Italian varieties are best), plus red wine vinegar and quality olive oil will make this salad even more enjoyable! For optimal results, allow the ingredients to come together at room temperature for at least an hour before eating!
6. Make a Tomato Sandwich
Tomato sandwiches are an irresistibly messy treat that is sure to delight this summer. Their juicy red tomatoes release delicious pink-hued juices mixed with salty brines that drip out with every mouth-watering bite, covering you in pink-tinted liquid that seeps all over your hands, plate, and napkins.
Start with juicy and flavorful beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes at their peak, and slice them into thick slices so that their flavors blend with the soft bread.
Use high-quality mayonnaise (Duke's or Hellmann's is great). Add extra flavor with Lawry's Seasoned Salt or other herbs like chives or dill to enhance its taste before spreading on two slices of bread.