Garden To Table…Ripe Tomatoes

All summer long produce goes from the Garden To The TableRipe Tomatoes take center stage during the last days of summer in  my home. If your garden is flourishing, every flat surface in your kitchen is probably covered with tomatoes in various stages of ripening. It is one problem that most gardeners don’t seem to mind. Big, delicious, ripe heirloom tomatoes are being served at meals from morning until night.

Heirloom Tomatoes From The Garden

Large Heirloom Tomatoes From The Garden

Even though it has not been a good gardening year at our summer cottage in Maine, the other day I was able to pick about ten pounds of large heirloom tomatoes along with a nice bunch of Genovese basil. A couple of the Brandywine tomatoes were sliced, the basil shredded and placed atop pizza dough drizzled with olive oil. It was then topped with Munster and fresh mozzarella cheese, then baked in a 500 degree oven to create a Caprese pizza that reminded me of the wonderful pizzas I’ve enjoyed while traveling in Italy. Made with vine ripe heirloom tomatoes, it was much better than any pizza I have had recently from the specialty pizza restaurants.

Homemade Caprese Pizza

Homemade Caprese Pizza Made With Heirloom Brandywine Tomatoes

I’ve been using the large tomatoes for one of my favorite summer sandwiches…a BLT. Slices of crisp applewood smoked bacon are placed on toasted bread that is spread with mayonnaise, topped with lettuce and thick slices of Cherokee Purple tomatoes. These large tomatoes are so big that it only takes one  tomato to prepare two sandwiches.

BLT Made With Heirloom Cherokee Purple Tomatoes And Applewood Smoked Bacon

BLT Made With Heirloom Cherokee Purple Tomatoes And Applewood Smoked Bacon

One of my favorite ways to enjoy cherry tomatoes is to use them along with fresh basil, pine nuts and mozzarella cheese in the flavorful pasta dish called Spaghetti alla Portofino.

Spaghetti Alla Portofino Made With Ripe Cherry Tomatoes

Spaghetti Alla Portofino Made With Ripe Cherry Tomatoes

Of course when you are spending time in Maine, you must have lobster several times during the summer. It doesn’t get much better than a ripe Black Krim heirloom tomato stuffed with lobster salad and served on a bed of mixed greens.

Black Krim Heirloom Tomato Stuffed With Lobster Salad On A Bed of Mixed Greens

Black Krim Heirloom Tomato Stuffed With Lobster Salad On A Bed of Mixed Greens

I will take the last of our summer tomatoes that might not be pretty enough to layer in a beautiful caprese salad and prepare a basic fresh tomato sauce that I’ll freeze. When there is snow is on the ground, I’ll be able to thaw out frozen tomato sauce and enjoy a taste of summer when I make an Italian “gravy” for a classic Sunday Italian feast.

Classic Italian Sunday Feast

Classic Sunday Italian Feast

I hope that when you have an abundance of tomatoes that you  will try some of my ideas. Taking the fresh produce from your garden to the table…using ripe tomatoes in several delicious preparations is sure to make your family and friends happy.

Like every other gardener, I am already thinking of what I will plant next year. You might be wondering if certain varieties of tomatoes did better than others in my garden this year. Yes, even though it one of the worst gardening years caused by too much rain, too many cool and gray days, I had some plants that did better than others. Next year, I will definitely be growing Cherokee Purple, Black Krim, and Orange Woodley heirloom tomatoes in the garden for their exceptional taste. I’ll also grow delicious Sun Gold, Sweet 100’s and Black Cherry tomatoes in large pots. We have a very short growing season in Maine and these varieties have done well. I would love to know what varieties of tomatoes you have had success growing in your garden.

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I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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205 Responses to Garden To Table…Ripe Tomatoes

  1. viveka says:

    That BLT talks to me … one of my favorite sandwiches … after Reuben. Lobster salad too … love lobster, but not the price they come to over here. Saw in NYC, not cheap there neither. I can feel the smell from those sun ripped tomatoes … on your kitchen counter.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Viveka, The first large tomato of summer always goes into a BLT. You could buy lobster for $3.99 a pound this summer at our little market in Maine. I have some beautiful tomatoes on the counter now and will hate when they are gone. Thank you as always for your nice comment. :)

      • Holy cow! Errrr…lobster! I have never heard of a price that low on lobster. The benefits of Maine living.

        All of your tomato creations look amazing…totally mouth watering.

      • Karen says:

        Hi Heather, Lobster was $3.99 this summer as well as last…definitely one of the benefits of being in Maine. :) With prices like that, you have to enjoy it several times over the summer. Thank you for your nice compliment, I’m happy you enjoyed the tomato dishes.

  2. All I can say Karen is that you eat well! I’m always hungry after visiting your blog.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rosemary, Some of my favorite meals are during the summer…simple but delicious. Sorry to make you hungry, I have the same problem when I visit you.

  3. There are so many delicious ideas here, but that lobster stuffed tomato really bowled me over. Wow!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Siobhan, I’m happy that you like the ideas of how to use tomatoes from the garden. Black Krim tomatoes are one of my favorite varieties…stuffing it with lobster salad was indeed delicious.

  4. Oh Karen I love this post as it is a fabulous roundup of tomato-based recipes. While I only have cherry tomatoes to harvest from my garden I do have some lovely large tomatoes on my counter. I am hoping to go to Italy next summer and several of your recipes make me feel like I am already there.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Barb, for your nice compliment. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post. Yes, I did prepare a lot of Italian inspired dishes with the tomatoes. :) All things you will get to enjoy when you visit Italy.

  5. Karen, what a wonderful abundance of different varities of tomatoes from your garden and what fabulous recipe ideas – there is definitley no such thing as having too many tomatoes on the menue, ever. I am particularly partial to your Spaghetti alla Portofino – so fresh, such vibrant color!
    Hope you are enjoying the last of summer´s bounty to the fullest!
    Have a great week, dear Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Andrea, I do like to grow a variety of tomatoes…each with different tastes and colors. I’m glad that you enjoyed the recipe ideas, thank you. The spaghetti is a terrific dish when you have fresh ingredients…it takes me right back to dining outside on the square in Portofino.

  6. I know I wouldn’t complain about a lot of good heirloom tomatoes! It’s getting harder each year to get good ones in the city. The pizza and blt look amazing Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Paula, You are right about it being hard to buy heirloom tomatoes. It is the same here, that is why I like grow them and you can never have too many. :) I’m glad you liked the looks of the pizza and BLT, they were both terrific, thank you.

  7. Lovely tomatoes! Yes, it certainly is the season for them!
    Like you, I enjoyed tomatoes with basil the other day – so yummy, as is BLT :-)

  8. Norma Chang says:

    So glad to see your basket of tomatoes, what a gorgeous basket. All great tomato ideas but the Black Krim Heirloom Tomato Stuffed With Lobster Salad On A Bed of Mixed Greens is what I am craving right now, yes it is breakfast time at my house but I would not mind one with a glass of white wine, oh no, it is too early for wine, will have to settle for coffee.
    Black Krim is one of my favorite, have a few partially ripened ones on the vine still, hoping they will ripen.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your nice compliment, Norma. This was a very challenging year growing tomatoes but our small crop has been delicious. I’ve got a few more tomatoes but I think are growing season is coming to a screeching halt…it is supposed to be 28 tonight. :( The lobster stuffed tomato was wonderful, I’m glad you like it.

  9. nothing beats a home grown tomato! I adore the multi colours of your heirloom toms Karen xx

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lisa, I agree with you totally…the flavor of a homegrown tomato is far superior to what can be purchased at a store. I love all the different colors too, they are so pretty when sliced and placed on a platter.

  10. Sue says:

    Ah, what a gorgeous variety of heirlooms in that top picture. Nothing beats them for flavor. My favorite for BLT’s has always been the Brandywines. Some years I don’t get them–even in a good year , we rarely get more than a week or two of picking before the first frost (2 nights ago, by the way!). But one THICK slice on a BLT and I’m in heaven. It’s definitely worth it.

    We agree on the cherry tomato varieties. You might like to try Matt’s Wild Cherry once. Though they are prone to splitting, the taste is very nice and they are prolific and early bearing.

    Glad to see you have a good harvest. These short summers are a challenge, but I wouldn’t trade the cooler temps for anyplace. Besides, I’m REALLY tired after 3 months. It’s time to get ready for winter.
    Have a great week, Karen. I really enjoyed you putting all your favorite fresh tomato recipes on one page with links. You’re a smart cookie! :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sue, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post, photos and links. Thank you as always for your nice compliment. Our Brandywines didn’t do good this year…the tomatoes were small. I agree with you about our short season…I wouldn’t trade it for the long and very hot weather that many parts of the country have. We have been having really cold nights so I think nature is tired of summer as well.:)

  11. lvaletutto says:

    This is my favorite time of year for sure. It looks like you have been lucky to have been able to harvest 10 lbs of tomatoes in a bad year! I envy your large BLT slicing tomatoes that make two sandwiches! This year our zebra tomatoes are our best growing heirloom variety. They are very tasty and I love their stripes but they’re not very big and I can never seem to grow very large tomatoes here on our balcony. I love all the different varieties of tomatoes you planted this year!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Laura, I was very pleased that we were about to get 10 lbs. because the plants really struggled this year because of the weather. Thanks for the suggestion about the Zebra’s…I have never tried growing them. A new variety that I grew this year was Ananas Noire which has a wonderful color and was very large.

  12. What a wonderful and magnificent post! I so enjoyed seeing the bountiful harvest from your garden. As you know, we have been in this horrible drought with over 50 days over 100 degrees (it is still hovering very near there everyday). Our garden turned brown and crisp, despite all our efforts to save it………….so being able to share in your beautiful harvest has been quite wonderful. Your dishes look simply amazing.

    I have decided that when we more to New England………it will be close to you! Ha…..fear not, I am just kidding! Your cooking is incredible. Thank you for this beautiful and wonderful post.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Tin Man, for your kind words. I really appreciate you lovely compliment. Your weather has been unbelievable hot. One of the reasons we love spending summers in Maine is so we don’t have to suffer with heat and humidity very often. New England is so small that no matter where you decide to live up here you will be close by. :)

  13. adinparadise says:

    Delicious pics, Karen. I love tomatoes too. Thanks for all the wonderful ideas.
    i will definitely be making these. ;)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Sylvia, for your nice compliment. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the photos and ideas. I hope you will like the recipes as well, we thought they were delicious.

  14. savourytable says:

    Heirloom tomatoes are such a delicious prize to me. Last year I grew some black krim and some German variety that’s name escapes me,, but this year I was lazy and didn’t plant any. I will never make that mistake again because now that everyone is photographing their beautiful tomatoes I feel like I didn’t get asked to the prom. I am already planning my little garden for next year. So please think of me next time you slice one of those big beautiful tomatoes!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen, I promise I will think of you when we have some tomatoes tonight. I would hate to go a summer without a good heirloom tomato…wish I could share some of mine that are sitting on the counter with you. Definitely plant some next year. :)

  15. What a harvest! The caprese pizza looks totally irresistible!

  16. Monique says:

    I would be over the moon at that bounty..I am starting to think that our sun exposure is not ideal for tomatoes ..It seems the sun changes.. end of August when tomatoes need sun most:( I have loads of sun.. for perennials etc.. but not for big tomatoes..
    And it’s difficult to find tomatoes like yours in close by markets..
    Dishes look delicious also!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Monique, I know exactly what you mean about sun exposure. Our property is surrounded by huge pine trees that create shifting sunlight during the day. If we had 6 to 8 hours of full sun a day, we would have more tomatoes from our 17 plants. I’m just happy that we get as many as we do because as you say the markets just don’t carry the heirlooms. I’m happy that you liked the dishes…thank you.

  17. Bishop says:

    I am envious, my tomato season was early and brief. The Houston heat and humidity did my maters in. I replanted so hope to have another batch in October through November! My cucumbers were also be replanted and looking good!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bishop, I know it is a real challenge growing tomatoes in Houston because of the hot weather. I hope that you get a nice crop from your second planting as the weather will be cooler…good luck!

  18. I too have been using fresh grown tomatoes each day and have many of them on the windowsill. My mouth was watering at the lobster salad, here I stuff them with tuna salad. I wish lobsters swam freely in the Great Lakes. :grin:

    • Karen says:

      Hi Donna, I’m happy to know that you have had a nice crop of tomatoes as well. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Great Lakes had lobsters. We had another summer with the lobsters selling for $3.99 a pound so it is hard to resist having them. :)

  19. We’re just a few weeks behind here in Austria, I’ve already made one load of green tomato pickle and guess will be making more as this week there’s a bit of snow forecast and that’ll stop everything growing!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Anna, I have a lot of green tomatoes as well. I’ll pick the rest green and layer them in boxes with paper to ripen. No snow here in Maine but they are predicting below freezing temperatures tonight so our growing season is coming to an end as well.

  20. I’m not sure which would be my favorite but they all look good. Is 9:45 too early for a BLT? That potted basil you have looks marvelous – such a deep green.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Diane, I’m glad you like all the dishes I made with tomatoes…thanks. I have ordered a BLT for breakfast in restaurants several times…it is never too early as far as I’m concerned. :) Our basil started out very puny but it is beautiful now.

  21. What a fabulous array of recipes. Every one of them looks delicious. My kind of cooking! And those heirlooms are gorgeous. Lucky!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Tiny, for your nice compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed my tomato dishes. Heirloom tomatoes are so delicious…I will miss them when they are gone.

  22. Heirloom tomates are my favorite, but we didn’t find many at the farmers market this year, Whole Foods was our only source, which we were happy to have. I wasn’t able to find Genovese basil for the garden this year, last year I had 6 plants and it was glorious, there really is a difference.

    Your pizza looks amazing, exactly the kind I would want to make. So glad your tomato crop was such a success for you this year, Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Judy, The owner of the farm stand where we buy corn said he thought it was a terrible year for tomatoes because of the weather. I’m happy that we got as many tomatoes as we did…the poor plants really struggled this year. I grow my Genovese basil from seed and I agree with you on how good it is…the leaves are huge. Thank you for your compliment on the pizza, it was delicious.

  23. dhphotosite says:

    We weren’t able to have a garden this year—living in a rental unit while home is being built–but your photos made me feel like we did. And I am so hungry now for any or all of the scrumptious dishes you shared!

    • Karen says:

      Hi David, I know that you will be happy when you are in your home and are able to plant a garden. I wish I could give you some of the tomatoes on our counter. Sorry to have made you hungry but thank you for the compliment about the dishes. :)

  24. rachelocal says:

    I would like to eat that BLT right now. Your tomatoes and the resulting food are beautiful!

  25. Oh so many beautiful dishes – the lobster stuffed tomato – the caprese pizza – wonderful! I’m envious of your tomato harvest – my tomatoes scarcely produced all summer but are covered now, finally, in completely green fruit which will never ripen!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Lindy, for your nice compliment. I’m glad to know that you enjoyed all of my dishes I made with tomatoes from my garden. I think my plants are similar to yours in that I’ve only been picking the big ripe tomatoes for the last couple of weeks. And just like yours, there are green ones that will never ripen. I’m picking everything tomorrow as we are supposed to get a killing frost.

  26. Sophie33 says:

    Your tasty tomato recipes are calling my name & mouth, of course too! I love home grown foods, way better! :) Lovely bright pictures too, my dear friend! :) xxx

  27. I think that is the best collection of tomatoes I’ve ever seen.

  28. kitchenriffs says:

    Such a timely post — we now have tomatoes coming out of our ears! Obviously we’ve found a solution to those squirrel thieves. ;-) You have a wonderful harvest, and shared so many great dishes. We had BLTs last night. ;-) Maybe we should try a pizza tonight — yours looks terrific! Although I’m kinda leaning towards a tomato and lentil soup. Anyway, fun post. Thank you.

    • Karen says:

      Hi John, Another person with tomatoes taking over the kitchen…actually that is a problem none of us mind. I’m happy you got the upper hand on the squirrel situation. I’ve got an idea for your dinner quandary, have both…a cup of your soup and a small pizza. :) I’m glad you enjoyed the post, thank you for your nice compliment.

  29. It all looks so good! My favorite has to be thick slices of tomato, a few slices of cucumber and a bit of onion on nice homemade bread. I can’t wait!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Maureen, for your compliment. I’m happy that you like all the dishes I made with tomatoes from the garden. Your sandwich sounds good, especially on homemade bread.

  30. All of it. I’ll take all of it please! All made so much better when using your own produce.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Phil, Your comment gave me a chuckle. :) I’m very happy to know that you enjoyed all of the dishes that I prepared with the homegrown tomatoes. I wish I could have shared the dishes with you. Thank you for your compliment.

  31. Amy says:

    Wow, what a tomato haul! There really is nothing like a freshly picked tomato. These recipes all look great :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Amy, You are right, nothing better than a vine ripe tomato. I was so please with the basket of tomatoes that I pick. I’m happy you liked all the recipes, thank you. :)

  32. Gorgeous tomato inspiration!

  33. A_Boleyn says:

    What a beautiful assortment of tomatoes. I can certainly appreciate their perfection and variety. The Italian feast would make any Sunday meal a joy to dig into.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Boleyn, We really had a nice variety of tomatoes this year. A couple of the plants didn’t produce as big of tomatoes as in past years but I think that was related to the weather this year. The Italian feast is my husband’s favorite Sunday meal. :)

  34. Ooh, that spaghetti alla Portofino looks wonderful! I think pasta tastes gorgeous when it is served simply like that. I remember reading your posts about your Heirloom tomatoes last year. They are wonderful….nothing better than a ripe, juicy tomato eaten straight from the garden.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Grace, for your nice compliment. The spaghetti alla Portofino is delicious and always reminds me of the first time I had it while visiting that beautiful Italian town. This year’s crop to tomatoes wasn’t as large as last year but they have had wonderful taste.

  35. Karen, you BLT is making my mouth water, as is your pasta dish… sumptuous! I am in awe of your beautiful tomatoes… I don’t have much luck with them here over the last couple of seasons… although the little self sownTom Thumbs thrive beautifully, springing up year after year. We are heading into the warmer weather now, sooooooo looking forward to it. Thank you for sharing your beautiful photographs.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lizzy, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and photos. Thank you for your nice compliment. A BLT is always made from the first large tomato that we pick each year. This year’s tomato plants really struggled because of the weather but the small crop that we have gotten has been very flavorful. I bet your little Tom Thumbs are delicious. I know you have to be looking forward to warmer weather…enjoy it when it comes.

  36. Larry says:

    I wish I’d eaten lunch prior to reading this as I’m now in pain. Cherokee Purple is our favorite with red and yellow brandy’s next. I love all of your dishes, except for some unknown reason we rarely stuff tomatoes – of course some nice lobster salad would change that in a hurry, says Larry from Durango, CO.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Larry, Out of all the varieties that we grew this year, the Cherokee Purple did the best. I haven’t had a Yellow Brandywine but our Orange Woodley’s were terrific, meaty and delicious. This year all of our plants struggled because of the weather. I really was surprised that we got the crop we did. Yes, I do think you would enjoy the tomato stuffed with lobster. :)

  37. What a feast!! I’m so glad they finally ripened, I remember you were struggling with that this year. 10lbs is an impressive harvest! And that BLT made my mouth water, as did the lobster…yum…

    • Karen says:

      Hi Celia, I was really worried we weren’t going to get a crop of tomatoes this year but in the last couple of weeks they finally started ripening. Your tastes and mine sound similar…the BLT and lobster were delicious. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  38. Lovely tomatoes! We have had so many tomatoes this summer so I’m always looking for new ways to use in dishes! We are coming closer to the end of the tomato season, but we still have a few to pick!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Pamela, I’m glad to know that you liked my tomato dishes. Our season is coming to a halt as we are supposed to have frost tonight. I’m going to enjoy the last few we have as I know you will yours until they are all gone.

  39. musingmar says:

    Such a beautiful basket of tomatoes, and so many things to do with them! Alas, I didn’t grow any this year, but in the past I, too, have been faced with bowls and buckets and bags full of tomatoes, spending whole weekends making and freezing sauce. Really, is there any such thing as too many tomatoes?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marlene, Isn’t that a lovely basket of tomatoes. The nice thing is that the flavor of each and every one of them was sooo good. :) I don’t think you can ever have too many tomatoes…I’m glad you agree with me. Each container of sauce that is defrosted and used during the winter when we have snow on the ground makes me very happy. Hope you get a chance to grow some tomatoes next year.

  40. We have had fun trying different recipes with all the tomatoes…we even oven roasted a batch and they were yummy!!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Donna, Oven roasted tomatoes are very good…I still have some in the freezer from last year’s tomatoes. Let’s hope we have a nice crop of tomatoes again next year. :)

  41. Kristy says:

    I love each one of your tomato dishes, but that pizza is calling my name! I love tomatoes all summer long and your description of your counter reminds me of my mom’s…so full of tomatoes. :)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Kristy, for your nice compliment. Oh, you would have enjoyed the pizza…it was absolutely delicious. A counter full of tomatoes is a good thing. :)

  42. Think my heart must’ve skipped a beat when I looked at the photo of the lobster salad in Black Krim heirloom tomato. Sounds heavenly. As do all of your suggestions.
    – Here, I think heirloom might be sold as heritage. Unfortunately, I never see them for sale where I am. Shame, as I love tomatoes.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Johnny, I’m happy to know that you liked the lobster salad in the tomato…it was so good. If I didn’t grow heirloom tomatoes in our garden, I wouldn’t be able to buy them either. Wish I could have shared some of my tomatoes with you. You are right, heirloom is often referred to as heritage. We have antique varieties of apples in our orchard and that is what they are called as well.

  43. We have a crazy amount of tomatoes in this house. Thanks for the extra ideas.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Christa, I’m happy that you liked my ideas of what you can do with all your tomatoes. Each of the dishes are very good…I hope you get a chance to try some of them. Enjoy!

  44. Oh my goodness, Karen. I’m hungry right now and your photos are making my mouth water. There is nothing better than a good BLT, and that lobster stuffed tomato is over the top. I have to try that before the tomatoes are gone.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Cathy, for your nice compliment…I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. The Black Krim tomato stuffed with lobster was delicious. Actually a vine ripe tomato stuffed with some of your west coast crabmeat would be terrific as well.

  45. Eha says:

    Well for me this oh so appetizing post came absolutely at the right time: if health allows shall be buying my plants next week. When you showed us your tomato plants a little time ago, it did not look that you would get a whole ten pounds out of the bed ~ at least in the end you did get some absolute beauties for all your hard work! Since fresh lobster is hard to get here in the country it + the tomato appeals above all else: and I simply cannot believe your prices ~ here one would pay about 4-5 times as much putting the beautiful seafood into a real luxury bracket!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Eha, I do hope that a by the time you want to buy plants that you will be feeling much better. This year’s tomato plants really struggled just to stay alive and I was happy that we were able to get the crop we did. As every gardener says, “there is always next year”. The price of lobster does go up in the winter but for the last two summers, the price has been great. Thank care my friend. :)

  46. I will miss all of the summer tomatoes and basil. Every single picture is droolworthy, truly! I will say this though – there is nothing like a BLT with tomatoes from the garden.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Becki, for your nice compliment. I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos. It is interesting to know that most all of us love a BLT. Our first large tomato is always used for that delicious sandwich. We are having our last summer dinner of corn and tomatoes tonight. I’m like you, I’ll miss all of summer’s great produce.

  47. Homage post to tomatoes, what tomatoes!!! Gorgeous! My son was only 10 and we were travelling in Japan. I made him a tomato and cucumber only sandwich on a toast for breakfast. He said that it was the most delicious sandwich he ever had, and if he could have it every morning. Your sandwich reminded me of that wonderful memory!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Fae, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post. How nice that the BLT sandwich brought back lovely memories of your son’s love of tomato and cucumber sandwiches. :)

  48. ChgoJohn says:

    Your tomatoes certainly have done well, despite the problematic weather. Although I’ve not enjoyed nearly as good a crop as yours, Karen, my Brandywines have all been saved for BLTs. Happily, I’ve enjoyed quite a few BLTs this Summer.

    • Karen says:

      Hi John, We didn’t have a very large crop of tomatoes from our plants this year but I do have to say that the taste was wonderful and I’ll miss them when they are gone. It seems a BLT is a very popular sandwich with everyone…I’m glad you had some good ones.

  49. Your beautiful tomatoes put my paltry few to shame, Karen. But you’re so right…I’m already planning for the future. I love each of these dishes, but I can almost taste the pizza! The photo of the tomatoes is beautiful, too! :-)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debra, I think weather played a big role this year…it seems it wasn’t a very good tomato growing season for many of us. We didn’t have many tomatoes but the ones we got were delicious. I’m glad you like the pizza, it was so good. Thank you for your compliment. Nice to know I’m not the only one thinking about next year’s garden. :)

  50. Your tomatoes look amazing and I am more determined that ever to get some planted and growing this year :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tandy, The tomatoes were as good as they look. I do hope you will have a little tomato garden this summer…there is nothing better than a tomato right of the vine. :)

  51. I love seeing how others use their tomatoes – would love to try your lobster dish! And I did smile about your comment regarding tomatoes on every surface…yep, that’s our house right now. No room to move becuase of the tomatoes :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tanya, I can imagine what your kitchen looks like…I laughed so hard when I saw the photo of your tomato filled refrigerator. The lobster salad in the ripe tomato was delicious.

  52. expatchef says:

    Wow Karen! They look amazing, and my tummy is rumbling just looking at all the amazing dishes you made! I wish my crop had been like that, but it is only my first year growing tomatoes…..hopefully with time I will get better at it! Beautiful!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Carla, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post about our tomatoes and some of the dishes made with them. I think that each year that you garden you learn more on what works and what doesn’t, what varieties of tomatoes will do well in your area and which ones you like. We all look forward to the next gardening year…let’s hope it will be a good one. :)

  53. What a fabulous round-up of tomato dishes Karen. Cherokee Purple’s are our favorite heirloom. We’ve eaten more than our share of BLT’s this summer, but the truth is that I can never get enough of them..
    Sam

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Sam, for your lovely compliment. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post on summer tomatoes. I can’t begin to tell you how many BLT’s my husband and I have eaten this summer…I’m glad we weren’t the only ones. :)

  54. what a festive harvest tomato Karen,
    btw, did u made some sun dried tomato wuth it???

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dedy, I’m happy that you liked the post about our summer tomatoes. I have some oven roasted cherry tomatoes in my freezer from last year but this year’s crop was very small so most were used fresh. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  55. I have tomato envy. Is that wrong? May I suggest try feta instead of mozzerella in your spaghetti? There is just something about pinenuts and feta. Your food has my mouth watering and it is still breakfast-time here.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Madonna, I’m glad that you liked the post…thank you for your nice compliment. Don’t feel bad, I get tomato envy when I see posts from our southern friends enjoying their summer tomatoes and it’s winter where I am. I’m sure that feta would be terrific in the spaghetti dish. :)

  56. wok with ray says:

    Nothing beats a backyard freshly harvested tomatoes. They are juicy, sweet, and no chemicals. I love that caprese pizza. It is making me hungry. Have a great week, Karen! :)

    • Karen says:

      I have to agree with you Ray, homegrown tomatoes are absolutely the best. I will hate it when the last few I have are gone. The caprese pizza was so good that we had it three times over the last few weeks. I hope you have a nice week as well, thank you.

  57. hotlyspiced says:

    So many incredible family dishes here. I think my favourite would have to be the pizza followed by the cherry tomato pasta – both look very yummy xx

    • Karen says:

      Thank you. Charlie! You are right, I think these dishes would please most families, especially the pizza and pasta…I’m glad that you like the recipes. :)

  58. What a delicious post, Karen! All of the recipes you showed looked so good but he black Krim tomato stuffed with lobster salad really made my mouth water.I have too manyy deer and rabbits that visit my yard, so I can’t grow too much. My son grew tomatoes in his backyard which is closer to Denver, but sadly a hail storm came and destroyed his plants. It has been a challenging summer, to say the least, in Colorado!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Pat, I’m glad that you liked the post and recipes. I like your choice of the lobster salad stuffed tomato…it was delicious.
      I remember your photos of the deer and rabbits passing through your yard. That is indeed a challenge to having a garden. I think we are all hoping that Colorado’s weather improves.

  59. Beautiful tomatoes, your Caprese pizza looks mouth watering!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Laura, We didn’t get that many tomatoes this year but they ones we got were delicious. The caprese pizza was very good. Thank you for your compliment.

  60. Daniela says:

    Oh Karen, you are so lucky to have all this gorgeous tomatoes fresh from your garden. There is no better taste than this!
    It’s hard to tell which one is my favorite of all these yummy recipes- maybe the Spaghetti Alla Portofino?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Daniela, I enjoy my garden and even though we didn’t get at lot of tomatoes this year, the ones we got were wonderful. I agree with you, there is nothing better than a homegrown tomato. The spaghetti alla Portofino was delicious…a good choice. :)

  61. Hi Karen,
    All you images of food look delicious but if I had to pick one from the ‘menu’ it would definitely be the home made caprese pizza. ;)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you B, for your nice compliment…I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. The caprese pizza was so good that we have made it three times in the last few weeks.

  62. Wonderful ways to enjoy those tasty Heirlooms….Pasta tonight it is! with Black Mauer tomatoes!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Stacey, I’m glad that you enjoyed the different ways that I used some of our tomatoes. I have enjoyed all three varieties I grew from the seeds I won in your give away. I’m sure you recognized the Orange Woodleys in the basket. :)

  63. What A Wonderful Post and I love the caprese pizza idea. One of the glories of summer is fresh tomatoes!!!

  64. okay so I want that tomato stuffed lobster salad! OMG! It looks amazing and so flavorful. A must

  65. Liz says:

    Oh, my gosh. I want EVERY one of these dishes!!! They all look amazing!

  66. Tomato, Tomatah..whatever you call them your recipes celebrate the wonderfullness of these summer beauties loved by so many and miss by so many at summer’s end. Great post Karen.

  67. ohlidia says:

    Oh Karen! Those dishes are absolutely gorgeous! Wow! My mouth is watering now! I too love tomatoes at this time of year. They have that taste of the sun… do you know what I mean?

  68. Thank you for all of those lovely ideas. I have tomatoes ripening in my kitchen as well and soon I should go outside to pick todays batch. The pizza was absolutely mouthwatering!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Laila, I’m happy that you like the ideas of what to do with all the tomatoes we are collecting on our kitchen counters. The pizza was wonderful…thank you!

  69. I just cut up the last of our tomatoes last night with the rest of our fresh basil, and tossed it together with some other herbs, olive oil, salt + pepper to make a simple summer salad. I love growing tomatoes and basil SO much – they are pure summertime to me. Great recipe roundup!

  70. shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com says:

    Hi – first time visiting your blog and am drooling! Thats one great looking BLT

  71. Charles says:

    I’ve really happy because even France has started getting wide access to “fancy” tomatoes. A few years ago, green tomatoes were impossible to get, but now there are plenty. Recently I bought some incredible bright yellow ones called “pineapple tomatoes”, and some rich, deep crimson ones as well (oh, we even have “kumatos” now too, hooray!). These dishes look amazing Karen – that pasta one I’d eat up in a second… I’m such a pasta addict! :D

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Charles, I’m happy that you enjoyed my summer tomato dishes. I agree with you about pasta…it is oh so good. I’m happy that you can now get a variety of tomatoes in France. There are so many wonderful heirloom tomatoes out there.

  72. I’ll be missing summer way too much now that I’ve drool all over this deliciousness. Someone, please save me!!!

    • Karen says:

      I know we would all like to extend summer for a little longer, Kiran. I’m happy that you enjoyed all the tomato dishes; wish I could share some of them with you. Thank you for your compliment…you gave me a real chuckle. :)

  73. Oh my, that lobster and tomato recipe looks over the top! We catch fresh Dungeness crab in the fall, and I bet that would be a great substitute. Our ‘maters are still coming in but I think tomorrow will be our last day of warm weather, so might have to start harvesting some green ones to ripen inside.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Kathryn, I’m glad that you like the lobster stuffed tomato…it was delicious. Your Dungeness crab would be wonderful in the recipe. We have picked every tomato that had even the slightest bit of color as they usually ripen just fine in the house. Enjoy your tomatoes while they last.

  74. Hi there Karen! I love all of your recipes but that BLT would go perfect right now. There is nothing like the fresh tomatoes picked from your garden that are still warm from the sun going on your sandwich. Yum!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Bam, I’m glad you like all the recipes…thank you. I agree with you about a BLT. Smokey bacon and ripe tomatoes make a perfect sandwich and I’ve eaten my share this summer.

  75. Hi Karen–love the beautiful variety of heirlooms, and I’d be hard-pressed to pick a favorite—tomato, or tomato-based dish! Although, right now, that lobster-stuffed one especially appeals.
    You gotta enjoy ‘em all ways while they are still here. Their time is fleeting!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nancy, I’m happy that you enjoyed the post. The dishes I made are as different as the varieties of tomatoes used in them. Enjoy the delicious tomatoes while they last…as you say, their time is fleeting.

  76. I can’t wait for the new tomato season to start in Australia. That really signals summer to me! :D

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lorraine, I know what you mean…it doesn’t seem that long ago that I started my seeds and was dreaming of the first ripe tomato. Your summer weather and ripe tomatoes will be arriving before you know it.

  77. NativeNM says:

    Oh My Goodness! What a basket full of deliciousness. Every photo looks mouth watering!

  78. I am so jealous!!
    For some reason I can’t grow tomatoes!!! :-l
    I can grow everything else, but either I don’t get fruit, or they stay little had rocks, or the caterpillas get them!! It so frustrating.
    All your varieties look so gorgeous, and I love all the different ways you have been using them :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Julie, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post about my summer tomatoes. I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t had luck growing them. Perhaps cherry tomatoes might work for you, they are very hardy and usually have a very abundant crop.

  79. Monet says:

    Hi Karen. What a great collection of tomato recipes! I’m such a pizza girl so of course…the first picture won me! But they all look so good. Thank you fo rsharing!

  80. We just had BLTs the other night with fresh heirloom tomatoes — such a wonderful summer treat! I canned a ton of tomatoes a couple weekends ago. We’ve been enjoying them a lot this summer.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Amy, I’m happy that you have had a good tomato crop this year. Putting tomatoes up for later in the year is such a nice way to enjoy a little bit of summer no matter the season. I agree with you about the BLT. :)

  81. mjskit says:

    What a GORGEOUS bowl of tomatoes! I have a few beautiful tomatoes on my counter, but I had to pay for them. :( What a great bounty from a cottage garden and I love ALL of the dishes you’ve been using them in. I would love to try to lobster salad stuffed tomato, but I’d have to sell a kidney to find, much less buy lobster down here. I guess I’ll just have to dream about it. :) Your post has me starving!

    • Karen says:

      Hi MJ, I appreciate your nice compliment. I’m happy that you enjoyed seeing all the dishes I prepared with the tomatoes from our garden. I’m sorry to hear that it is hard to find lobster…I guess it is like me finding fresh hatch chilies here in New England.

  82. Velva says:

    For the first time we had an abundant tomato growing season. I discovered quickly that there is a thin line between green and turning ripe, and ripe and becoming rotten (laugh). I made endless tomato sandwiches, roasted tomato sauces for the freezer, heirloom tomato salads…Oh my! Loved every minute of it.

    Great post.

    Velva

    • Karen says:

      Hi Velva, I happy to know that you had a great tomato season. You are so right about the thin line. :) It seems we both are eating lots of tomatoes but I’m loving it just like you. Let’s hope next year is as good.

  83. Penny @ The Comforts of Home and From Harvest To Table says:

    Oh my! Everything looks so good! We had so much rain this year here in NC that our tomatoes were just mush…sadly. Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope you visit again soon. I also have a food blog…www.fromharvesttotable.com

    Penny

    • Karen says:

      Hi Penny, Thank you for coming by and leaving your nice compliment. I’m happy that you enjoyed the post. I’ll be looking forward to your return and will be visiting both of your blogs as well.

  84. I hear your tomato suggestions calling to me, amazing suggestions. I printed out the post and I will try to recreate your suggestions.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Charlie, I’m happy that you enjoyed the post about the dishes made with our garden tomatoes. I hope you will enjoy the recipes as much as we did when you get a chance to prepare them. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  85. Oh my gosh! There isn’t one dish on this page that I don’t want to dive into!

  86. David says:

    Karen – when we lived in Maine, I think my favorite time of year was September. The weather began to cool, and the lobster became abundant, and all the tomatoes were at their peak. It just didn’t get any better than that… Thanks for bringing me back through your words and photos.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you David, for your lovely compliment. I’m happy to know that my post brought back nice memories of your time spent in Maine. September is really a delightful month in Maine for all the reasons you mentioned.

  87. What gorgeous tomatoes! I think I want to try everyone of those recipes. They all look fantastic. You are making me wish I could be a gardener, but I just don’t think I have it in me!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Christin, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post. You might want to try a growing one cherry tomato plant in a large pot…they are really very easy to grow. Sun Golds are excellent.

  88. Absolutely beautiful tomatoes! We are still picking some tomatoes here or there, so I’m glad to see the season extended just for a bit longer! :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Pamela, We didn’t get a lot of tomatoes this year but the ones we did get were wonderful. I’m happy that you are still getting tomatoes late in the season…that is wonderful.

  89. That’s a lot of great dishes! I am so jealous! Every recipe I want to try, especially the one with the lobster.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Julia, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I’m happy that you enjoyed the recipes. Yes, the lobster salad stuffed tomato was delicious.

  90. I’m jealous! Heirloom tomatoes from your garden? It must taste heavenly! You caprese pizza is making me drool! :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Anne, The heirloom tomatoes from our garden are always delicious. I have enough small tomatoes left to make one more pizza…wish I could share. :)

  91. Rosa Mayland says:

    Beautiful tomatoes and gorgeous food! I particularly like that Caprese pizza which looks absolutely mouthwatering.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Rosa, for your nice compliment…I’m glad you enjoyed the post. The pizza was so good that we have had it several times since we started picking the tomatoes.

  92. Raymund says:

    Wow those tomatoes looks so good! love them really fresh on the pizza

  93. Lea Ann says:

    Thank you for more tomato ideas. My counters runeth over.

  94. A truly beautiful basket of tomatoes, Karen. And all of your dishes make my mouth water!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Betsy, We didn’t get a large crop of tomatoes this year but they were all delicious. I’m happy that you enjoyed the post about the dishes that I prepared with some of them…thank you.

  95. Ooooh, I wanted to peel that BLT off the page and eat it :-)

  96. Carolyn Chan says:

    That basket of Heirloom tomatoes looks divine!! I can imagine your entire house filled with the wonderful sweet aroma of ripening tomatoes. It’s so disappointing to pick up most tomatoes available here in Singapore where there is absolutely no smell. To me, no smell = no flavour. We do get baby roma tomatoes most times, and there’s something intensely gratifying for me to open the carton and take a deep sniff of them. They are delicious and small enough to pop in to your mouth like a sweet !

    • Karen says:

      Hi Carolyn, Our chop of tomatoes was small this year but we got some great tomatoes. I totally agree…if a tomato doesn’t have a tomato smell, then it has been picked green and probably gassed to turn it red. There is no way that a tomato like that can have a good flavor. Wish I could share one of my heirloom tomatoes with you.

  97. Sissi says:

    Karen, your tomatoes look so scrumptious! Bad tomatoes have invaded even farmers’ markets, so I always make sure I buy the same varieties from the same sources. Thank you so much for inspiring ideas!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sissi, The tomatoes have been delicious this year even though we didn’t get as many as usual. I’m happy that you liked the ideas of what to make with tomatoes…thank you! I’m glad you have a dependable source for nice tasting tomatoes.

  98. I want two of each. Hope you haven’t had frost yet to spoil your crop. We haven’t, but it’s getting closer.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Darryl, We had a small but delicious crop of tomatoes this year. We had two nights last month that got down to 32…that is when we know it is time to close down the cottage for the year. We give our landscaper all the tomatoes that are left on the vine as he cleans up the gardens for us before the first snow arrives since we go back in New Hampshire. Wish I could have sent some your way.

  99. cabinet stew says:

    OHHHH I how I love a tomato!! In any form. I will take them all! That BLT looks to die for!
    (ps doing a little catch up reading and glad I am!)

  100. I love heirloom tomatoes! They are so pretty and tasty. We had a nice crop of them this year as well and I’ve used it to make marinara sauce and tomato soup which I have frozen for cold winter nights!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ducky, I’m happy that you had a nice crop of tomatoes. Isn’t it wonderful to have some frozen tomatoes to enjoy in the middle of winter. :)

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