Ridiculously Easy Tomato Recipes for Your Garden Bounty

Have a surplus of toms you need to make good use of? We have some quick and easy recipes to get you started. 

Caprese Appetizers

Caprese Appetizers

Photo by: photo by Sam Henderson

photo by Sam Henderson

If you are lucky enough to have an abundance of fresh, homegrown tomatoes on your hands this summer you know the pleasures of a perfectly ripe, sun-warmed tomato. You may also know about the boredom that sets in when your tomatoes are going gangbusters and you have more abundance than you may know what to do with.

Luckily tomatoes are one of the easiest vegetables to transform quickly and easily with some basic recipes you can turn to again and again this summer when you need a quick dinner, appetizer or healthy, summery dish.

gazpacho

gazpacho

On warm days a classic gazpacho is almost necessary. In the city of brotherly love -- Philadelphia -- the authentic Spanish tapas restaurant Amada serves the tomato-based soup.

Photo by: Thinkstock

Thinkstock

Gazpacho is the perfect summer food: refreshing, cool and light, I could eat it every day. Best of all, it is a great way to make use of not just your extra tomatoes, but your onion, cucumbers and jalapenos. There are a million variations, but when it comes right down to it, tomatoes, onion, garlic, some salt, olive oil and tomato juice make a pretty delicious basic recipe and you can't go wrong with these Ina Garten or Alton Brown versions from our sister site Food Network.

Caprese Appetizers

Caprese Appetizers

Photo by: photo by Sam Henderson

photo by Sam Henderson

A Caprese salad is the easiest starter or main dish if you have extra tomatoes. Combine slices of tomato, thick slices of good quality mozzarella, a leaf of basil and a drizzle of good olive oil and salt and pepper and you are good to go. But if you want to move some cherry tomatoes, you can do the same salad as an adorable little appetizer. Invite some friends over for a porch party and impress them with your hosting talents. Add a glass of rosé and you have basically won summer.

Bruschetta

Bruschetta

Start your Italian feast off right with a plate of bruschetta -- crostini topped with fresh tomatoes and basil, then drizzled with olive oil

Photo by: Thinkstock

Thinkstock

Before there was avocado toast, there was bruschetta. I have made bruschetta as a party appetizer, but quite honestly, I would eat this delectable combination of fresh tomatoes and good toasted bread as a main. Again, a great way to use up those tomatoes and instantly transport you to the fresh, seasonal Italian cooking that makes you long to hop on the next plane to Rome. This version from Bobby Flay is a bit more labor intensive, with a tapenade and white bean puree in the mix, but would make a great party starter and would impress your foodie friends with the mix of flavors.

Greek Salad

Greek Salad

A staple of the Greek dining table: the Greek "horiatiki" salad. I shot this one on a trip to Greece and it features green and red bell peppers in place of the traditional cucumbers. It was still delicious.

A staple of the Greek dining table: the Greek "horiatiki" salad. I shot this one on a trip to Greece and it features green and red bell peppers in place of the traditional cucumbers. It was still delicious.

Greek Salad

Nothing is easier or more satisfying than a classic horiatiki salata: a simple combination of tomatoes, cucumber, kalamata olives, olive oil, a sprinkle of oregano and feta cheese. Some people like to add thinly sliced red or white onion. But don't mess with perfection and add lettuce or a fancy vinaigrette. You don't need a recipe for this, but the little details count. Seed the tomatoes, peel and remove the cucumber seeds, use the best quality Greek olive oil you can find and a sprinkle of red wine vinegar. Don't overdo it on the oregano: just a sprinkle of dried oregano is fine. Oh, and amazing feta helps: add the feta and the olives after you have tossed the cucumbers and tomatoes with the oil, vinegar and seasonings. I like the way in Greece a big, delicious square of feta is served on top of the salad so you can choose your own perfect portion.

A perfect vehicle for homegrown tomatoes: white bread, mayo and tomatoes. Go!

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