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Favorite Ways To Use Tomatoes and Peppers {Ask the Readers} and Keeping It Real

Ask The Readers

I had planned on posting a new recipe for my Cooking Through My Collection series today, but it did not get done. Summer has been busy for me and I feel like I am so behind on everything. Laundry, email, housework, paperwork, gardening, etc. You get the idea. Summer has not been much of a slow down for us this year.

Anyone else having a summer like that?

If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen this picture on Saturday.

garden 14 1

Yes, that is what my kitchen counter looked like. Let’s just say we are having a good garden year for tomatoes and peppers. If only the rest of the garden was doing this well.

Let me first say I know this is a good problem to have. My family in Oregon wishes they could grow tomatoes like this. Oklahoma may not be the best place for growing strawberries, raspberries, and cherries, but we can grow some delicious tomatoes and peppers.

So instead of working on online and website stuff this weekend, I spent it in the kitchen working with tomatoes and peppers. And instead of catching up on housework, I made more messes taking care of all the stuff coming from our garden.

Again I know this is a good problem to have. Too much food is a blessing and something to be thankful for. I will take this problem any day.

So here is what my Saturday looked like.

Garden 14

I froze some of the peppers. I made fresh salsa that we have been enjoying. I made roasted tomatoes and pasta Saturday night for dinner. And I have lots of tomato dishes on the menu plan this week.

We had a few tomato plants damaged in a storm last week. I did not want the green tomatoes to go to waste, so I decided to make some pickled green tomatoes. We have not tasted them yet, but if they work, I will be sure to post what I did. Has anyone else ever made pickled green tomatoes?

I have also been drying tomatoes. This is the first year I have dried tomatoes, so I am still a little unsure how we like them or how much we will use them, but it has been an easy way to deal with so many tomatoes. So far they work well for sandwiches and pizza. I would love to hear your thoughts on drying tomatoes if you have tried it.

If we keep getting this many tomatoes,  I will probably can a few or make salsa to can. I will admit though that canning is not my favorite thing to do. I know how to do it and I have all the stuff to do it, but it is not something I really enjoy doing. But I don’t want food to go to waste, so canning tomatoes may end up in the plan this summer.

I also pickled some more peppers this weekend. Pickling peppers is my new favorite way to use up peppers. I made some a couple weeks ago and they were not hot enough. The ones I made last week are much better and hotter according to my husband. So I think I finally got the pickled peppers right. I will be sharing what I did for those later this week.

Now for the Ask the Readers question.

Since I have so many tomatoes and peppers right now I would love some new ideas and recipes to try. Do you have a favorite way to serve or use garden fresh tomatoes and peppers? 


Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. Teresa Rouzer says:

    Here is a family favorite summer salad/dip that uses fresh vegetables and is pretty healthy to boot! You could certainly use your homemade salsa in this.

    Mom’s Black Bean Salad

    1 16oz. can black beans, drain, rinse well, drain again
    1 8 oz. can whole kernel corn, drain (can use 1 cup frozen, thawed) we like to use shoe peg corn
    4 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, diced
    3/4 cup green onions, chopped, green tops included
    3/4 cup celery, thinly sliced
    1 small red or green bell pepper, diced
    3/4 cup medium hot chunky salsa
    1 TB olive oil
    2 TB lemon juice
    1 t. ground cumin
    1 clove garlic, minced

    1.Mix salad ingredients all together in a bowl.
    2.Mix dressing ingredients well and pour over salad.
    3.Toss well and chill several hours.
    4.Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or cilantro if desired.
    5.Serve as a summer salad with grilled meats, fish, chicken, or burgers or sandwiches.
    6.Also good as a dip for tortilla chips or tortilla “scoops.” Will keep for at least 3 days in the fridge.

    Ruthanna’s Tomato Pudding – similar to “scalloped” tomatoes
    a favorite side dish, you could use 3-4 cups of peeled, chopped fresh tomatoes

    2 (1 lb.) cans stewed tomatoes
    1 medium onion, halved and slivered
    1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
    2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, divided
    2 Tbsp. water
    1 cup Pepperidge Farm herb-seasoned stuffing mix

    1.In saucepan, cook tomatoes, onion, sugar, and 1 Tbsp. butter over medium-high heat until liquid is reduced by half 10 to 15 minutes.
    2.Pour into shallow 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.
    3.Melt other tablespoon of butter with water; stir in stuffing mix.
    4.Spread stuffing mix topping over tomatoes and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until tomatoes are heated and topping is golden.
    5.Note: Dry bread cubes can be substituted for the stuffing mix.
    6.The tomato-onion mixture can be prepared ahead of time. Just don’t add the topping until ready to bake.


  2. Shirlene Weber says:

    I used dried tomatoes by grinding them into powder and use to add flavor to any dish or salad. Makes a quick paste to if needed.

  3. We used to get picked green tomatoes at Greenfield village in Dearborn Michigan. They no longer make them and my kids miss them. I’m looking forward to the recipe. I will definitely make them! I make brushetta with my ripe tomatoes. Dice the tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, onion, basil, salt and pepper. We put it on bread, top with cheese and toast in the toaster oven. It is also good to add to salads.

  4. I love to stew the tomatoes and freeze. I use them in any recipe that calls for diced/canned/stewed tomatoes. If I need tomato sauce I just add some corn starch to them before throwing in the recipe. I freeze most of my food because canning is so time consuming!

  5. Cori May says:

    We freeze our tomatoes. They’re great in sauces and such during the long fall and winter months! I blanch them, shock in cold water, slip off the skins and bag them! I may try just freezing them skins and all this year…. I heard once they thaw the skins just slip off!

  6. i make a roasted blended salsa and freeze it. its so good simmered with scrambled eggs or shredded meats.

  7. I, too, have dehydrated tomatoes and turned them into powder for soups, stews, and chili. The same can be done with your peppers. I know exactly what you mean about canning. It is so convenient to have jars to open during the winter, but it is so much work during an already busy season. I would freeze diced tomatoes and use them just like canned. I would chop and freeze your peppers to use in all kinds of Mexican dishes, casseroles, soups, etc. I use them just like canned chilies. Have fun!

  8. I add different salts/spices to my dehydrated tomatoes but mostly use them instead of chips as a snack. They have no oil/fat and you can control the salt content. I would like to comment that I canned jalapenos one summer and noticed the longer they were canned the hotter they got as to taste so you may want to consider that with the pickled things you first thought were not hot enough.

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