Tomato Zucchini Bake and More Tomato Recipes

In my opinion, the tomato is the most versatile fresh ingredient in the world. They are delicious when eaten raw like an apple, in salads, roasted, baked, sautéed, marinated, pan fried…they are just so good.

And there are so many different kinds:

Photo by Len Villano.

Photo by Len Villano.

Amelia, Arkansas Traveler, Baby Cakes, Beefmaster, Big Boy, Black Pearl, Box Car Willie, Brandywine, Carolina Gold, Celebrity, Chello, Cluster Grande, Dr. Carolyn, Early Girl, Enchantment, Favorita, German Queen, Giant Belgium, Golden Sunshine, Green Zebra, Gum Drop, Hillbilly, Husky Pink, Indigo Rose, Jet Star, Legend, Marvel Stripe, Mini Charm, Mortgage Lifter, Mr. Stripey, Nebraska Wedding, Nugget, Old Ivory Egg, Orange Santa, Peace Vine, Plum Crimson, Power Pops, Queens, Red Candy, Red Pearl, Rosalita, Shady Lady, Sheboygan, Small Fry, Solar Fire, Speckled Roman, Sweet Baby Girl, Thai Pink Egg, Tolstoi, Tribeca, Truckers’ Favorite, Ultimate Opener, Valley Girl, Viva Italia, Wes, Wins All, White Wonder, Yellow Bell, Yellow Magic, Zapotec Pink Ribbed, Zebra Cherry.

I have always thought my dream job was getting to name the colors of all the crayons in the box of Crayolas. I was wrong. I wanted to name vegetable and fruit varieties.

If you did not know better, you would think you were traveling to exotic lands, writing poetry, or naming punk bands. There are approximately 7,500 varieties of tomato known today. Each variety is grown for different reasons – shelf life, flavor, production yield, disease resistance, nutritional value. I recommend heirloom (a tomato variety that has been passed down through several generations) varieties for consumption.

Tomatoes originated in Central and South America and are believed to be discovered and first brought to Europe by Hernando Cortez after conquering the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan. Once Europeans got beyond the fear created by the unknown exotic fruit and began eating the tomato, culinary roads were changed forever.

When it comes to tomato season, it is typically all or nothing regarding availability. As they say, when it rains it pours. Find a storage option that works for you. Dehydrate, can, blanch, freeze them whole, or processing sauce or salsa works great, too.

Having the opportunity to dip into garden-fresh deliciousness in the dead of winter is heaven on earth.

Fresh tomatoes should be stored on the counter or in a basket. Do not put tomatoes in the refrigerator because the flavor fades and the flesh gets tough.

Tomato Zucchini Bake

Photo by Brett Kosmider.

Photo by Brett Kosmider.

When pairing this with dinner, you can skip the starch and instead enjoy this with grilled chicken or salmon.

Serves 4-6 (side dish)

3-4 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

3 cloves sliced garlic

2 zucchinis sliced lengthwise

5-6 sliced tomatoes

¼ cup of roasted red peppers

sliced crusty bread

chopped fresh basil

feta cheese (substitute parmesan if you prefer)

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375? F

Drizzle enough oil to cover the bottom of a baking pan. Place the sliced bread in the pan, drizzle with more oil. Layer on top of the bread: zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, basil, feta cheese, balsamic and more oil. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, keep covered for half the bake time.

Tomato Summer Salad

Photo by Len Villano.

Photo by Len Villano.

Goes great with a backyard picnic.

1 quart of cherry tomatoes halved

1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced

½ red onion, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove minced

1 8oz. container of fresh mozzarella balls


Whisk together:

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

chopped fresh basil and chives

1 tsp sugar

salt and pepper to taste

Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and let sit for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld.

Pico De Gallo – Fresh Chopped Salsa

Photo by Len Villano.

Photo by Len Villano.

Delicious on eggs, on nachos, your favorite fish.

1 quart small tomatoes, diced

½ onion, finely chopped

2 jalapeٌos, finely chopped (seeds removed)

corn, chopped off the cob

1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

juice of 1-2 limes

½ cup chopped cilantro

salt to taste

Mix everything together and marinate for 1 hour to allow flavors to meld.

Huevos Tomatoes

Photo by Brett Kosmider.

Photo by Brett Kosmider.

Makes 2 servings

1 Tsp olive oil

splash of balsamic vinegar

6 tomatoes, chopped

¼ cup onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 jalapeno – chopped

cilantro, chopped

basil, chopped

Queso blanco, crumbled

4 eggs

½ avocado

14 oz. can of black beans, rinsed

4 corn tortillas


pickled red onions

pickled jalapenos

Pico de gallo

cilantro chopped

In a sauté pan over medium high heat, add the olive oil, splash of balsamic, tomato, onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro and basil. Cook down until it is a consistency of tomato sauce. Add a pinch of salt. Turn the heat down to a simmer.

Crack 4 eggs into the tomato sauce and cover. The eggs will poach in the tomato sauce, sprinkle the eggs with salt.  Approximately 5 minutes, do not stir.

In the meantime, warm the tortillas in a cast iron skillet.

To plate:  place two tortillas on each plate. Scoop 2 eggs onto each plate with the tomato sauce. Top the eggs with black beans, pico de gallo, pickled onions and jalapenos, queso blanco, and cilantro. Buen Apetito!

Simple Pickled Red Onion or Jalapeno

Photo by Brett Kosmider.

Photo by Brett Kosmider.

Derived from The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich

red onion, thin-sliced rings

¼ cup white vinegar

¼ cup warm water

½ tsp pickling salt


3 jalapeno peppers, sliced into thin wheels

¼ cup white vinegar

¼ cup warm water

½ tsp pickling salt

Set the onion and jalapeno up in separate glass bowls. Cover the jalapeno and onion with boiling water for 1 minute. Pour the water off. Pour warm water, vinegar and sprinkle with pickling salt. Let sit for at least one hour. Pickled veggies can be stored for up to one week in the refrigerator.