Summer Tomatoes and Tasty Recipes!

Oh, the things you can do with a fresh homegrown tomato!

Summer is in full swing here in Georgia and believe me, right about now we surely all feel the heat and humidity that this time year brings to the South.  Heat is really good for growing crops, as long as there is plenty of rain too and thankfully, we are getting those late afternoon thunder showers quite a bit this summer, so the gardens are still doing pretty well.

Tomato Collage

Since my love of tomatoes knows no bounds, I thought I’d share some yummy tomato recipes with you all today.  I’ve shared plenty on my blog over the years and I reached out to some bloggers for their faves too, so enjoy and I hope you have plenty of tomatoes in your life right now and you may get to try some of these out. If you love tomatoes like I do, you’ll be craving some by the end of this post!


There is simply nothing better in my opinion than a home grown tomato.  I’m so very blessed that my daddy has been growing them my whole life.  I don’t think I had any choice but to love them.  I remember taking the salt shaker outside during summer when I was little and picking tomatoes off the vine and chomping down with some salt.  Got to have salt on mine!

caprese salad001

Caprese salad is one of my most favorite ways of preparing tomatoes and I just discovered this delectable treat a few years ago.  I shared my recipe last year, using any home grown tomato you have and there are countless recipes for this online.  But, it’s so simple and easy to prepare and enjoy with fresh mozzarella and fresh basil.  So good!


Here’s an alternative Caprese garlic bread that looks really good from Wife In Progress!  I want to eat them all!


Here’s another Caprese salad variation from Oh My Creative, very much like mine, but the presentation is really wow!  The flavors of a Caprese salad are so tasty and delicious. She said she gets pre-sliced mozzarella at Costco which would be great for a party platter like this.


I’ve made brushetta many times over the years too and there again, are countless ways to make it.  I just slice up fresh French or sourdough crusty bread, drizzle it with a little olive oil, broil in the oven on both sides until golden brown, take it out of the oven and pile it high with fresh cut tomatoes, chopped basil, fresh garlic, salt and pepper and a little olive oil.  That’s it!  The freshness of the tomatoes, bread and basil combo just explode with flavor!


I shared my simple version of Fried Green Tomatoes on the blog before too, golden brown and tasty.  Even better if you make a homemade sauce with it, but I didn’t do that.

homemade tomato sauce

Year ago, not long after I started blogging, I shared how I made my homemade pasta sauce using canned tomatoes, but you could also do it with fresh.  It’s a simple and easy recipe I learned while I was in Italy over 20 years ago and came home and started making it. I watched the local women make this simple but tasty sauce and have been hooked ever since. You can add whatever you want to it, including meat, but it’s just a simple recipe, which only simmers for 30 minutes or so.  I sometimes add fresh mushrooms, kalamata olives, and other things to spice it up.  It’s very yummy! You can kick it up or down with dried red pepper flakes.  I never buy pasta sauce in the jar anymore, when this is so easy to cook.

Excuse that bad pic from years ago, it would be nice to update them all!


With all the fresh tomatoes in season, many people opt to can them. My parents are famous for their canning and I went over there a couple of years ago and watched them can.

peeling tomatoes

Here’s a good post from Walking on Sunshine on how to peel tomatoes for canning.  Good visuals!


My daddy’s hands peeling those tomatoes skins off, getting ready for canning.

canned tomatoes001

And these are the beautiful canned tomatoes my mom puts up.  We use these in fresh tomato pasta sauce and soups during the winter months.  She has been canning tomatoes for years!  That link will take you to the canning post, showing their method for canning. It might not pass a safety inspection, as others do different methods for sterilizing their jars, but this has been working for years and years with no problems at all.  Can at your own risk!


My Southern friend, Jane, from Cottage at the Crossroads, shares a homemade Creole sauce that sounds SO good.  She freezes it and adds shrimp later on when cooking the dish.


Bruschetta with 2 colors of tomatoes and parmesan cheese from Garden Matter.  No matter how you make bruschetta, it is delicious!! One of my favorite summer treats.


From Jen Rizzo, Summer Garden Pasta with Tomatoes.


Pasta with roasted fresh tomatoes and spinach from Love of Home looks SO good!  I just love spinach in pasta, a great way to add veggies in a one pot meal.


This bowtie pasta salad from Meegan Makes looks so delicious too, perfect for not heating up the kitchen during summer! Look at all those fresh veggies.


I make my fresh salsa just about like this one from Savvy Apron. There is nothing like fresh salsa and chips, made from homegrown tomatoes.  We have some in the fridge most of the time after tomatoes come in.


Salsa is always a hit and Beckie shares how she makes Sweet Onion Salsa from canned tomatoes, great during the winter months when you don’t have fresh ones.


From Love my Simple Home, a fresh tomato and olive fetticine recipe.  Yum, this looks good!  Anything with tomatoes and olives has my vote.


Amy shares Pesto Pasta Salad with fresh tomatoes and basil. That is a winning combo no matter how you put it together!


Amy also shares a beautiful Gourmet BLT.  Be still my heart!  I think I could eat a BLT every single day. It’s that good!  I’ve been putting sliced avocado on mine too and that takes it up another notch.  This one looks delicious too!


Last, but not least, the lowly tomato sandwich, truly the po’ folks summer sandwich.  I grew up on these too and they still make me so happy! The first one of the season is cause for rejoicing, that is for sure. I use wheat bread, because I just don’t buy white bread with mayo, sliced tomatoes, salt and pepper.  I know everyone has their own version of tomato sandwiches, but that’s mine.

You can keep your Miracle Whip! I hate the stuff!

Hope this gave you some tasty ideas for using those fresh tomatoes at your house!

- Rhoda


  1. What a fabulous roundup of tomato recipes and thanks for including mine. I canned 14 quarts of tomatoes today and made tomato jam yesterday. I’ll have to say that I have never put avocado on a BLT but it sounds scrumptious!

    • HI, Jane, so glad to share your recipe. I so admire you for doing all that canning, it’s such hard work.

  2. Yummy recipes! Your tomato sandwich was the best. How I wish I had some of my grandfather’s juicy red tomatoes he grew and we’d have tomato sandwiches on Italian bread with butter. Sure brings back fond memories.

  3. Judy Clark says:

    Nothing like a mater sandwich Rhoda. I hate Miracle whip too! Dukes mayo is my favorite. Lot of salt and pepper. Yummy! We got some tomatoes from the farmers market here in Georgetown Saturday. We have had several BLT’s. Hubby and I love them.
    I make my tomato sauce like yours. Very simple and tasty. Thanks for sharing!

  4. VintageBeachgirl says:

    Fabulous recipes Rhoda!! Love the flashback to your Mamma & Daddy’s tomato canning!! Thanks for a great post!!
    I don’t even begin to understand some people ruining a wonderful tomato sandwich with foul smelling Miracle Whip, always thought it had to be a miracle that anyone ever ate the stuff, the smell alone would ruin it for me and don’t even get me started on putting it in potato salad hahaha………

  5. Can’t wait to use our garden tomatoes to try some of these!! Thanks for including mu pasta!!

  6. Barbars Galloway says:

    Love those tomato sandwiches! When I was working at the nursing home every Thursday morning all the residents got gravy and biscuits for breakfast. The cooks always made some extra for the employees. The cooks would always offer us tomato biscuits. I had never had that. But when I finally had one I was hooked! Very good!

  7. The reason I love summer – TOMATO Season! Love this post and every single recipe. Tomatoes were also a big part of my upbringing. I love everything tomato, except oddly I don’t like Bloody Mary’s 🙂
    Great post!

  8. I just love reading your blog. The articles about your dad and gardening remind me so much of my dad. Your so lucky to still have him. I wanted to let you know that your blog is only loading on the left side and everything is really narrow. Not sure how to fix it or if its on my end.

    • HI, Jan, I’ve had people talking about this for a few weeks. Are you running an ad blocker? If so, that is the problem on Chrome and Firefox. It’s incompatible with an ad plugin I have to run for my sidebar. If you disable it for my blog, it should work fine again.

  9. Thank you, Rhoda, for adding my salsa recipe to your round up! All of these recipes look amazing. There is nothing like a fresh tomato from the garden!!

  10. The best thing about summer is Georgia tomatoes. I’ve canned about 10 qts. out of our garden and we have eaten a bunch. I love, love, love tomato sandwiches with Duke’s mayonnaise.

    What kind of tomatoes does your Dad grow?

    • HI, Tee, he’s growing Parks Whoppers this year and another variety, I can’t remember at the moment.

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