Best Tomato Recipes

Cooking and preparing a garden favorite, including recipes for tomato salsa, pasta with tomatoes, basil and arugula, marinara sauce, curried green tomatoes, broiled tomatoes, cherry tomato pasta, and a PLT sandwich.

| June/July 1993

If you have a garden out back, you're probably good and ready for some new tomato recipes.

Note to all readers: Okay, we know what you're thinking. MOTHER has published tons of articles on cooking with tomatoes. Can there really be that many recipes that I haven't seen yet? Our answer to you is: As long as gardeners continue to bring in dozens of armloads of tomatoes each year, you can be sure that an abundance of original recipes will crop up as well. We consider it our job to keep you posted.—The Editors

I'll bet you can't describe the smell of a winter store-bought tomato. Don't worry, I can't either. Store-bought tomatoes are void of smell (and taste, if you ask me), and without an aroma, how can a food have flavor? That's why I'm counting the minutes until July arrives so that I can sink my teeth into a ripe, juicy-red tomato that smells like a . . . well, a tomato. From that moment on, I'll not let a day pass without consuming at least one tomato a day, picked fresh from our backyard garden.

Although I truly love the tomato season, I must admit that my organic gardener husband tends to become a bit crazy come summer. Like a mad chemist, he obsessively invents chemical-free solutions in an attempt to eliminate garden pests. He and our next-door neighbor, Carl, become partners in crime—spraying bugs with an assortment of solutions containing secret ingredients, such as cayenne pepper and garlic. They then zoom out to their gardens the next morning to count the corpses. If they can't locate dead bug bodies, it's back to the laboratory.

As you all probably know, tomatoes are botanically a fruit (originally called "love apples"), but are usually prepared as a vegetable. Once believed to be poisonous, tomatoes are a member of the nightshade family, which includes potatoes, bell peppers, and eggplants. A tomato is a good lowfat food, containing only 25 calories (one pound of tomatoes equals 90 calories), as well as some vitamin C, potassium, and a substantial amount of vitamin A. Because some vitamins are lost during cooking and canning, tomatoes in concentrated form, such as tomato paste; contain more nutrients.

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