Tomato Season!

Last Thursday I was making a simple spinach salad for dinner.  I stopped by the store for avocado and a pint of grape tomatoes.  I used maybe five grape tomatoes.  On Friday one of my co-workers brought me in a bag of cherry tomatoes.  On Saturday I went to the Farmers’ Market to be greeted by an abundance of local tomato varieties (I bought a beefeater for BLTs and some heirlooms I’d never seen before.  On Sunday my black cherry tomatoes started to ripen.  Now it’s Tuesday and I have tomatoes coming out of my ears!

What to do with all of my tomatoes?!  I found inspiration from weekend morning Food Network.  Ina Garten was making a tomato gratin and from chatting with a farmer and taking her recommendation.

The Barefoot Contessa was making a fresh tomato gratin.  I was sweeping and talking on the phone, but she caught my attention talking about what to do with a bunch of cherry tomatoes.

Grape tomatoes from the grocery store, red cherries from a friend, black cherries from the backyard.

Grape tomatoes from the grocery store, red cherries from a friend, black cherries from the backyard.

I started by coating the tomatoes with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme.  Next came the gratin topping, blended in the food processor.  Ina called for bread crumbs, parsley and garlic.  I added parmesan because cheese makes everything better.  

Ready to blend!

Ready to blend!

The parsley came from the backyard and I had a sandwich roll that needed to be used.  Three cloves of garlic and three tablespoons of parm.  Blend it up and dump on top of the tomatoes.

Up next, baking.

Up next, baking.

I put a couple of pads of butter on top.  Like cheese, butter makes everything better.  Into a four hundred degree oven for thirty minutes.  The recipe called for 40, but my bread crumbs were getting a bit toasty so I pulled it out.  

Time to let it rest.

Time to let it rest.

While the gratin was cooking I was working on recipe number two for tomatoes.  Two of the heirlooms I bought had a fleshy skin but were largely hollow.  The farmer recommended them for stuffing!  Since it’s still pretty warm out, I though tomatoes stuffed with tuna salad served over greens sounded perfect.  

I always mix my tuna salad with tons of veggies, close to a fifty fifty ratio!  I finely chopped one small carrot, 1/3 cup red onion, 2 dill pickles, 1 tbsp mayo and one tbsp yellow mustard before adding the tuna.

Ready for the fish!

Ready for the fish!

I added one can of oil packed tuna (I drained about half of the oil, you could not drain and omit the mayo) and mixed it all up.

Tuna salad

Tuna salad

I mix my tuna right in a tupperware bowl so I can easily store the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.  Stuff the tomatoes, place on top of greens, lightly dress with homemade honey mustard dressing!

Stuffed tomatoes

Stuffed tomatoes

I served my salad with a side of gratin and had plenty of leftover tuna salad and gratin for the week.

Perfect summer side!

Perfect summer side!

I just used the tomatoes I had on hand for the gratin, in the future I’d double the amount but keep the breadcrumb amount the same.  It was still delicious!

What do you do in the summer with an excess of tomatoes or zucchini?  

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