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Fresh tomatoes are some of the most versatile ingredients, with uses in everything from drinks to salads to pastas and beyond. Have some extra tomatoes lying around the kitchen and don’t know what to do with them? Read on below for four delicious tomato recipes to try out.
Tomato and cucumber salad
For a healthy and refreshing side dish, try making a fresh tomato and cucumber salad. This recipe is super simple: Start by combining two cups of diced tomatoes and two cups of sliced cucumbers in a bowl, along with ⅓ cup of sliced red onion if you want. Drizzle the mixture with three tablespoons of olive oil and 1 ½ tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and then sprinkle it with sugar, salt, and pepper to taste.
Prefer your tomatoes in liquid form? Try this homemade gazpacho, a classic Spanish soup. First, combine two pounds of ripe tomatoes, one long green pepper, one cucumber, a small onion, and a clove of garlic in a blender. Blend the mixture at high speed until it’s smooth, or for at least two minutes. Use a spoon or spatula every once in a while to scrape chunks off the side of the blender.
With the blender running, add two teaspoons of sherry vinegar and two teaspoons of salt. Slowly add half a cup of olive oil until the mixture begins to look completely smooth. Strain the mixture to get rid of any remaining solids, then chill in the refrigerator for at least six hours. This soup works well as a drink, so it can be served in a bowl or in glasses over ice.
Pizza or pasta with homemade sauce
To add fresh tomatoes to an already familiar recipe, try making homemade tomato sauce for your favorite pizza or pasta recipe. First, heat a half cup of olive oil in a skillet. Add a chopped onion and half a teaspoon of garlic powder, then stir until the onion becomes translucent.
Add in four pounds of fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped, one tablespoon each of white sugar, dried basil, and dried parsley, and one teaspoon salt. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer it for an hour or two, stirring occasionally.
Fresh pico de gallo
There are few ways to use tomatoes that are better than a fresh chopped salsa, so try making a homemade pico de gallo. This recipe is super easy: Just mix two to three medium fresh tomatoes, half of a medium-sized red onion, two serrano peppers or one jalapeño pepper (stems and seeds removed), the juice of one lime, half a cup of chopped cilantro, and oregano, cumin, salt, and pepper to taste.
Put this mixture in a blender or food processor and pulse it two to four times, just enough to evenly dice all the ingredients. You can blend the salsa more or less for a chunkier or more liquidy salsa. Finally, add lemon juice or sugar to taste if you want to make the salsa sharper or sweeter.