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Tomatoes are simply delicious

Sherrel Jones writes about her love of the simple, flexible garden-fresh tomato.
BY SHERREL JONES Published: August 1, 2012

Tomatoes themselves are lovely when roasted. Try roasting quartered tomatoes to use in your favorite salsa recipe. This little bit of caramelization gives a great boost to the flavor while concentrating the juices and bringing out the natural sugars. This pre-roasting can add zest to most any sauce recipe made with fresh tomatoes. I like to mash caramelized tomatoes together as a base for homemade pizza. They make memorable spaghetti and barbecue sauces.

There are a variety of fillings both hot and cold to use for stuffing tomatoes of any size. Use a small melon baller if you are hollowing out cherry tomatoes to serve as appetizers. Remove the stem end along with a small slice of tomato so the tomato will sit upright when filled. Fill with Pimento cheese, tuna or chicken salad to serve cold.

Your favorite macaroni and cheese makes a yummy filling to serve warm in a cherry tomato or as a side dish in medium-size tomatoes. Hollow out larger tomatoes using a reamer or larger-size melon baller.

Make gazpacho, a cold tomato soup with quick blender-chopped tomatoes, cucumber, green peppers and onions.

Tomatoes add the crowning touch to salads whether they are mixed into leafy greens or carefully seasoned pasta or mixed-vegetable marinated ones.

Tomatoes pop with color and flavor especially when they're the season's best garden fresh vine-ripened Oklahoma tomatoes.