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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
margarita pizza

Using Garden Fresh Tomatoes


My husband and I picked our first tomato from the garden about a week ago and it wasn't long before we had an entire bucket full. I've had many questions from various tomato gardeners asking how to turn these delicious tomatoes into culinary creations. There are numerous quick and easy ways to use up your tomatoes.

Try marinating tomatoes for a refreshing cold dish. Simply combine 3 Tablespoons of white wine vinegar, ½ Tablespoon of olive oil, 1 minced garlic clove, ¼ teaspoon brown sugar and ¼ teaspoon of Dijon mustard and shake well in a jar. Pour over 6 sliced tomatoes, sprinkle with fresh cilantro and fresh ground pepper, and refrigerate a few hours before serving.

Of course, you can always make your very own pasta or pizza sauce, layer a BLT sandwich, toss them in a tomato and herb pasta dish, chop them into a delicious salsa, or stuff them with spinach, breadcrumbs and mozzarella cheese. The options are endless!

When storing tomatoes, store them at room temperature and away from direct sunlight. Do not store them in the refrigerator; refrigeration makes them mushy and tasteless. Only store very ripe tomatoes in the fridge to keep them from further ripening. If preserving tomatoes, be sure to check out our Food Preservation Resources webpage for the most up-to-date information. Home canned or frozen tomatoes are excellent in soups and chili during the winter time.

Enjoy the season of garden fresh tomatoes! And try this Margarita Pizza that I recently made! Top with fresh basil after the pizza has baked to preserve the herbs flavor.

Margarita Pizza Printable PDF

Crust

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 envelope rapid rise yeast

¾ teaspoon salt

1 cup very warm water

2 Tablespoons olive oil

Cornmeal

In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of flour, dry yeast and salt. Pour in warm water (110-120°F) and olive oil. Stir to combine. Add excess flour as needed to make a stiff dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough with floured hands. Place back in bowl sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a clean towel and place in a warm area to let rise. Once doubled in size, roll out onto pizza pan that has been sprinkled with cornmeal. Bake in a preheated oven at 400°F for 10 minutes.

Topping

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

5 Roma tomatoes, sliced

1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

4-6 basil leaves, cut in halves

Fresh ground pepper

Optional: Parmesan cheese, red pepper flakes

Brush olive oil over partially baked crust. Spread minced garlic over crust. Place sliced tomatoes until all of the crust is covered. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the top and place in a °400F oven for 15-20 minutes. When pizza is done baking, sprinkle with fresh basil and fresh ground pepper. If desired, add Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.

Yield: 8 slices

 

Nutritional analysis per slice: 240 Calories, 9 grams fat, 10 milligrams cholesterol, 310 milligrams sodium, 32 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams dietary fiber, 8 grams protein



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