What do I do with all these tomatoes?!

We all know that eating a tomato fresh from the garden is one of the best ways to consume a tomato, ever. Period. They have such a distinct flavor and scent when they are picked and eaten fresh. The experience of picking a tomato fresh off the vine brings me right back to my childhood—we had a large garden and tomatoes were my favorite from the loot. I eat them right off the vine, sliced and sprinkled with salt and pepper, chopped and mixed with fresh garden basil and drizzled with Italian olive oil and balsamico, in a caprese salad, mixed green salad, the list goes on! I lovveee tomatoes!

If you’re anything like me, I overplant tomatoes every year. In fact, my husband typically has to talk sense into me at the nursery as I load the varieties of heirloom starts that spark my eye into my shopping cart. I get so excited about our garden every year and it’s not uncommon to end up ‘in over our heads’ in tomatoes, zucchinis, greens, cucumbers, etc. However, the garden is a beautiful opportunity to get creative in the kitchen and also share generously with our friends and family. I never fret with having ‘too much’. Abundance flows every year in our garden and lives. It’s a true blessing.

I am part of a canning group on Facebook where tons of canning ideas are shared. It’s a fantastic resource if you want to check it out. So many avid canners are out there preserving and storing their harvest for the year to come. It’s truly inspiring. Although I do can, it is important to carefully follow instructions on how to do so properly to prevent spoilage. I won’t get into canning details here, but one of the best things I learned from this page was that you can use green tomatoes as a substitute for salsa verde instead of tomatillos! Each year here in Oregon, we always have some tomatoes that don’t get to ripen at the change of the season. Why let them go to waste?

And so, I made a delicious roasted green tomato salsa that our friends devoured, and we will continue to make until our green tomatoes are all gone. It is super simple. Here’s how I made it:

Roasted Green Tomato Salsa

5 lbs green tomatoes halved

6 yellow onions peeled & quartered

4 jalapenos halved (stems removed, you can keep the seeds if you like it spicy or remove them if you don’t)

2 orange bell peppers quartered (seeds and stems removed)

6 whole garlic cloves

1 bunch of cilantro, chopped

1 cup lime juice

1 teaspoon of salt

½ tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon oregano

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon sugar

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. I used 2 roasting pans lined with parchment paper. Add tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, bell peppers and garlic cloves to the pan in a single layer.

3. Roast veggies for 35 minutes, stirring at 17 minutes.

4. Scrape the veggies into a blender or food processor. Add remaining ingredients. Pulse a few times to your desired texture. Taste. Add any additional ingredients to taste (extra lime, salt, sugar, pepper, etc.)

5. Allow to cool in the fridge before serving with your favorite chips.

6. If you are familiar with canning, you can water process this recipe or freeze it!

Other recipes I’ve really enjoyed this year for tomatoes:

Oven Dried Cherry Tomatoes

Dehydrated Tomatoes (if you have a food dehydrator)

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes (I add these to pasta & zoodle dishes, and love eating them right out of the pan)

Homemade Tomato Paste

Stuffed Greek Tomatoes

Fried Green Tomatoes

There are so many ideas out there for using up all of your garden veggies. Give yourself some time in the kitchen, browse some recipes, and get creative! Enjoy!

Did this help? What is your favorite tomato recipe? Reply here!

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