Tomato season is in full swing, and it's time for some great tomato recipes! Growing tomatoes is such a fun and rewarding experience. From planning your garden in the “off season”, to watching your little tomato seedlings grow, and seeing those first tomato flowers, each step in the process is so much fun!
One of the great parts of growing tomatoes is picking out the different types of varieties of tomatoes you would like in your garden. Do you want strictly heirlooms? Do you want tomatoes for canning, or maybe some cherry tomatoes for the perfect snack? When choosing the right tomatoes for your garden, be sure to think about what you would like to do with your tomatoes, and how much space you have. Research is always key to any gardening adventure!
When choosing the perfect spot to grow your tomatoes, think about what a tomato needs. A tomato needs at least 6-8 hours of sunlight to produce flowers and fruit but 12-16 hours will provide even better growing conditions for your tomatoes. Be sure you plant your tomatoes in an ideal growing location. A perfect place is easy to check on the tomatoes, water them, and yes even give them a quick pep talk or two. If you are looking for a great way to grow your tomatoes, a raised bed is where it is at! So easy to maintain, and no wasted excess effort. More time for enjoying your garden!
We have the perfect tomato plant, and it's growing wonderfully! Now it is time to enjoy the fruit of your hard work! There are so many tomato recipes out there for many different tastes. One recipe that is quick and great when you have a lot of smaller tomatoes is marinated tomatoes. Marinated tomatoes are the perfect way to use up some of the extra tomatoes in your garden. The ingredients needed to make this recipe are probably already in your pantry, and making this recipe takes no time at all.
To get started you will need to gather your ingredients. From your pantry, you will need 1/4 cup olive oil, 1-2 cloves garlic (minced), 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar, 1 ts maple sugar (or plain sugar works great too!), 1/2 ts sea salt, and a few fresh basil leaves (chopped). You will also need an 8 ounce mason jar. This recipe will fill an 8 ounce mason jar, but if you would like to double, or even triple this recipe you can!
After you have gathered your ingredients, you will need to prepare your tomatoes. Give your tomatoes a quick wash, if they are dirty. Cut your cherry tomatoes in half and start to fill your mason jar. You want to fill your mason jar almost to the top, leaving about an inch or so of space from the top of the mason jar. You want to make sure you have enough room for your marinade. If you don’t have enough tomatoes to fill the jar all the way, that is totally ok! You can also use a larger tomato. Cut the tomato into wedges and pack it into the mason jar.
Next, you will need to mix up your marinade. There are a ton of different recipes out there for marinated tomatoes. This recipe is a little more on the sweeter side, but feel free to experiment with this recipe and come up with the perfect recipe for your taste. You simply need to whisk together the olive oil, minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt, maple sugar (the secret ingredient!), and chopped basil. Pour over your tomatoes, and you are done! You can enjoy your marinated tomatoes right away but it is even better when you allow them to “marinate” for a few hours to really give the tomatoes a flavor boost. Tomatoes can marinate for up to 2 days, but after that, the tomatoes tend to get soft. You want to enjoy your marinated tomatoes within 24 hours of making them. Don’t worry though, these are so tasty they won’t last very long!
How do you use the marinated tomatoes? Add some fresh mozzarella to your marinated tomatoes and you have a super easy, extremely delicious summer salad. Put some of your marinated tomatoes on some crostini for a take on Bruschetta. Add marinated tomatoes to freshly baked pizza or grilled flatbread. The possibilities are endless!
There is nothing better than enjoying a meal with ingredients from your own garden! If you have some extra tomatoes in your garden, give this marinated tomato recipe a try, you won’t be disappointed!