You Say Tomato I Say…

Tom-ah-toe  WHAT DO I DO WITH THEM???


Our one little Roma Tomato plant has took on a massive form.  Apparently, it heard there were multiples in the family and felt the need to compete. 

Every time I step outside I pick about this many…


And there’s so many more left on the vine.  I have about 20 in the house, gave handfuls away to neighbors, and have probably 30+ left on the vine. 

I need your help!  A freezable tomato sauce recipe?  Fresh salsa recipe that you love? H-E-L-P!

(PS I have no clue how to can. None.)


31 thoughts on "You Say Tomato I Say…"

  1. Angel says:

    Umm My mom makes a mean chili sauce I will get her recipe and email it to you..

  2. Jackie says:

    When I pick tomatoes I pick a bushel at a time. 🙂 I make fresh salsa in my food processor with tomatoes, onion and green pepper all from our garden. Very yummy. I always can tomatoes, but you can freeze them I have heard. Have fun with your harvest. (P.S. I have quite a few gardening and preserving posts on my blog.)

  3. The thought of all the steps involved in canning always overwhelmed me. So I made sun-dried tomatoes and froze them in ziploc baggies. There are probably better ways to make them, but here’s what I did:

    Slice them, spread them on cookie sheets. Season with whatever spices you like (I did Italian seasoning, garlic salt, and oregano), then put them in a 250 degree oven for a couple of hours. Then I put a handful in the snack size ziploc bags, pressed as much air out as a I could, and froze them. Good portion size to use on pizzas, salads, etc., all winter long.

    This worked well with cherry tomatoes too (I just cut them in half).

  4. Jacquelyn says:

    Freeze them with the skins on. Then when they thaw the skins will slip right off.
    Great for chili or soup this winter. Or for making salsa when the weather cools off.

  5. Carly says:

    FRESH! Homemade! Salsa!

    ((I don’t use measurements, just enough that looks good…. to taste?))

    Tomatoes (diced)
    Garlic (approx 2 cloves?) (chopped)
    Lime Juice
    1/2 – 3/4 Vidalia onion (chopped)
    Jalapenos (diced)

    Mix all FRESH ingredients into food processor, blend until fully blended.

    So yummy & so fresh!!

  6. Juli E. says:

    Here is a quick and yummy salsa recipe my family loves.
    • 2-3 tomatoes (use 4-5 if using roma tomatoes) (I core the tomatoes)
    • handful of fresh cilantro (to taste)
    • 1/4 – 1/2 medium onion
    • handful of banana peppers (in a jar) and a tablespoon or so of the juice
    • salt to taste

    Chop ingredients to desired size and mix together. Enjoy!

  7. Trista says:

    I love tomatoes! During this time (because I also abhor canning!), we eat lots! I put them on pizza, BLTs, sandwiches, salads, homemade salsa, bruschetta, guacamole, whatever! I don’t have recipes for anything, just kinda go by taste, but I’ll try. For salsa, I add onions, green peppers, garlic, and cilantro (sometimes I add cumin depending on my mood). For bruschetta, I add green onions, garlic (tons), EVOO, and balsamic vinegar. For guacamole, I add avocado, homemade salsa, extra garlic, cilantro, touch of salt and cumin, and extra tomatoes (in addition to the salsa). Everything is simple and fast and, best of all, delicious! We have six children who happen to LOVE them, though, so I definitely don’t get as many IN the house as I would like still because they stand at the edge of the garden and sow down as though they were apples! From the littlest (2) to the biggest (14)!

    1. Trista says:

      I forgot – I add lime juice (about 1-2 whole limes) to the salsa and guacamole, also.

  8. Jessica says:

    Oven roasted tomato sauce is yummy and if you have leftover, pour it into a ziploc bag and freeze it!

    You can skip the food mill step if you don’t have one and just pop the sauce into the blender.

  9. Suzy says:

    I don’t have any recipes for you, but if you have any tomatoes left over after making all that yummy salsa … I’ll take ’em! 🙂

    Perhaps someday I’ll get around to planting my own garden …

    Keep up with me, Ted, and our Fab Four at

  10. We LOVE salsa with fresh from the garden tomatoes!! I posted this recipe about how I make mine, then I also posted about how to make guacamole with that same salsa

    Also, you can freeze tomato sauce, it just won’t keep as long as canned will. Make whatever kind of sauce you want (I just make a basic marinara with tomatoes, garlic and italian spices) and then once it’s completely cool, you can put it in doubled up freezer bags and then freeze them flat so they take up less space.

  11. Jenny T says:

    I don’t have canning supplies, but I have a dehydrator. And that’s what I do with extra tomatoes…slice them thin, put them in the dehydrator, and then wait for them to be dry. Then I put them in Glad/Ziploc containers in the pantry. They last for well over a year, and they are great for pizzas, pastas, and super-yummy on salad.

  12. Heather Bonner says:

    This recipe is for a roasted tomato caprese salad with fresh mozzarella and basil. It is so good and really intensifies the flavor of the tomatoes.

    Also you can roast them and then make a pasta sauce. Yummy.

  13. We’ve got the same situation going on at our house. Here’s what I’ve been doing:

    *Throw slices in paninis and quesadillas.
    *Caprese salad.
    *No mozzarella? Just cover them in olive oil and balsamic. Yum!
    *Throw a few chopped up ones in with pasta.
    *Eat straight from the plant with a salt shaker nearby for liberal application.
    *Saute in EVOO with whatever else you have on hand (bell pappers, basil, onion) and serve over rice.

  14. kd says:

    Who wants to bother w/canning? Do you have freezer space? Do you make soups or stews in the winter time? If so, just wash them and put about as many in a freezer bag as you would use per recipe of soup and freeze them. No other prep needed. I’ve done this for years!

  15. christi says:

    I love tomatoes!

    I know people have said it but here is where I love to use them:

    Caprese – I bought a basil plant a Trader Joes three months ago and planted it – for $2 I have had fresh basil for a LONG time
    Caprese Salad – add lettuce and it is so good!
    In eggs with goat cheese
    Stuffed with eggplant and cheese
    Roasted with Corn
    Pasta with Basil and Tomatoes – with EVOO
    Lightly Salted and raw – so good!
    Marinated then served with cheese


  16. JCF says:

    Here’s a great tutorial on canning:

    It really isn’t too difficult once you know the steps, it is just time consuming. My mom and sisters and I like to can veggies and jam a couple of times in the summer, and I think that having a couple of people (2-4–more than that and the kitchen is too crowded, in my opinion) is really helpful. We always have the husbands/grandpa watch the kids (5 total, ages newborn-5 years, between me and my older sister) and the four of us spend the day and just get the job done. We split the costs (must cheaper after the first year when you don’t have to buy all of the equipment, and especially if you save your old jars and just replace the lids), as well as the end result. We did some earlier this summer when I was 36 weeks pregnant, and I thought I was going to keel over by the end of the day, but I did it and am grateful for all of the stored food now!

  17. Becky says:

    We have made homemade spaghetti sauce and chili and freeze it for a later date, all you have to do it pull it out and warm it up!

  18. RobinS says:

    For freezing: take the stem/core out before you freeze them. Saves some time and angst when they thaw.

  19. MH says:

    We’re making homemade pasta sauce today and freezing it. Romas are supposed to be the best sauce variety so you’re all set. 🙂
    And I just made my first ever salsa – corn, black beans, tomatoes, jalapeno, garlic, green onion, homemade taco seasoning, lime juice.
    Both are yum.

  20. maren says:

    My favorite is bruschetta===, but for all the extras, I just pop ’em in the freezer and freeze them whole. Quickly run them under water when ready to use them to remove the skins and they can be pureed and cooked for any sauce type recipe.

  21. Aimee says:

    No recipes here–I don’t like tomatoes in anything but my Heinz 🙂 Just a quick note to say I LOVED your Indians game wrap-up–too cute! Looks like you guys have had an awesome summer!

  22. We always have a TON of tomatoes and usually make plain sauce or juice, LOTS of spaghetti sauce to freeze and a few batches of fresh salsa. I never liked salsa until we made our own – and we make a HUGE batch & we’re lucky if we can make it last more than 2 or 3 days! Its sooo good! I’ll see if I have the recipe on the computer and email it to you.

    We also eat lots of fresh tomatoes – mix them up with cucumbers and ranch or with mozzarella. oh! Tonight we made the YUMMIEST Tomato Charlotte (I think that’s what it is called). Its to die for! I’ll look that up and send that to you, too!

  23. Lacey says:

    I wish you could send some to me! My tomato plant got hit by 2 giant hail storms as well as a stupid, over-excited dog that doesn’t look where he’s going. It’s somehow still living but it’s struggling to make any fruit!

    Personally I would just throw tomatoes into whatever you’re cooking, because really tomatoes make everything better. Or just slice them up and eat them for snacks. That’s good too. Or with some cottage cheese. Yum!

  24. Jaimie Zetterberg says:

    Jen – my roma plant is doing the same thing – it’s great! I like to slice them and put them on our frozen pizza to jazz them up (also if you have fresh basil put that on top too!). We’ve also had a lots of mexican, taco’s, quesidillas’,etc. chop of romas for those too -yummo! this garden thing is great!

    Jaimie Z

  25. Shannon says:

    I love this salsa fresca recipe because it has minimal ingredients and the good news is you can use LOTS of those tomatoes!

    Diced tomatoes
    diced red onion
    diced fresh cilantro
    tobasco sauce

    Add red onion and cilantro to the onions to your taste then add the tobasco sauce last. It never fails to be a house favorite!

    Good luck!

  26. Kim Murray says:

    I love to make fresh salsa with my tomatoes. Chop up 3-4 Romas, add 1/2 an onion chopped, 1/2 chopped green pepper, some Jalapeno (if you like it spicy), the some season salt, lime juice, a little lemon and if you like Cilantro, some of that.
    The easiest thing to do with them is to just wash them, cut off the core end and put them on a cookie sheet. Toss them in the freezer and once they are frozen, drop them in a gallon ziploc. When you want to make Chili or a hotdish, simply run them under hot tap water and the skin will slide right off and you can put them in your supper

  27. Brenda says:

    Mrs. Wages is a seasoning mix, pasta sauce, chili base, salsa, pizza sauce. I have made the pasta sauce, salsa, and pizza sauce, just follow the directions on the back. I freeze mine in canning jars, delicious. We planted two roma tomato plants and I have made those three things from Mrs. Wages, yum. Very easy and all you need is a big sauce pan, and a blender if you are making one of the sauces.

    Good luck 🙂

  28. Jen, I don’t freeze tomato. But I can tell you a very quick and easy way to can tomato juice. You will need to cut, chop, juice your tomatos and then just boil the juice to a very high boil, you can start to see it get thick in the big pan. Then all you have to do is dump it in the canning jars and put the sealing lids on. Turn them upside down for about 1/2 – 45 mins (to keep the warm on the lids). Turn them over and you should begin to hear them popping that they are sealing. We have one of those hand crank juicers. We get the tomatoes hot and stick them in that thing to make the juice to can. At least you are getting tomoatoes we have none this year. Goundhog has ate everything and we have live captured 4 of them. 🙁 Sherri

  29. tomatoes, cucumber, mint leaves, sweet onion, sugar, lemon juice or vinegar, salt and pepper. Quantities are not so important – just put ’em together and it will make an oh-so-refreshing summer salad.

    I don’t believe in canning either!

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