Wondering what to do with a bunch of ripe summer tomatoes? Check out these amazing dinner recipes featuring tomatoes! They are incredibly easy to make, and are naturally vegan too.
Tomatoes are seriously one of my favorite ingredients to work with! They are incredibly versatile, and can be added to almost any dishes.
🍅Choosing the perfect tomatoes
Although tomatoes are an all-year round vegetables (OK fine, fruit), you can find the best and juiciest ones at the peak of summer. Here are a few tips to pick tomatoes so you won't end up with a watery flavorless disappointment.
- Appearance - A good tomato should be vibrant and red in color, without any discoloration, dark spots or bruises. The skin should be smooth and not wrinkled. If possible, look for vine-ripened or locally grown ones as they will be more flavorful.
- Touch - Give tomatoes a gentle squeeze and it should be firm, but not rock hard. Do also take note of their weight. The heavier the tomato, the juicier it is.
- Smell - Give it a sniff at the stem end. The stronger the sweet, earthy smell, the more flavorful the tomato tends to be.
Now that you have chosen a bunch of ripe juicy tomatoes, it is important that you know how to store them properly to preserve their freshness.
Ripe tomatoes - Store them in a shaded area in your pantry away from sunlight, stem side down in one layer. Consume within 3-4 days.
You can also refrigerate them, but do place them on the top shelf near the door, where it tends to be warmer. They can last up to a week.
Let them warm up to room temperature before using to regain some of their flavor and richness loss during refrigeration.
Unripe or green tomatoes - Place them in a paper bag, stem side down at room temperature until they ripen fully. You can now use them immediately, or move them to a cooler spot for storage.
🌿Substituting canned tomatoes for fresh
A few of the recipe below calls for canned tomatoes. The best option is to use what the recipe suggest, but you can also use fresh ones in place, especially if you are looking to use up your tomatoes!
Do make sure to wash and diced up your tomatoes into small cubes before incorporating them into the recipe.
- If the recipe calls for 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, you will need about 10-12 whole tomatoes, or about 2 pounds (900g). You can also substitute it with 2 cups of freshly diced tomatoes.
- If a 14 oz can diced tomato is needed, use 5-6 whole fresh tomatoes, or about a pound (450g). Or, substitute it with a cup of freshly diced tomatoes.
❔Commonly asked questions
Yes, tomatoes can be frozen and will last in the freezer for a solid year.
To freeze, first wash, pat dry and core your tomatoes. Then, place them on a baking tray and place it in the freezer for a couple of hours, or until frozen. You can now transfer them to any freezer bags or containers before freezing them.
Before using, let frozen tomatoes defrost in the fridge overnight. They can be added into soups, stews or be use to make sauces.
If stored properly, ripe tomatoes will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Do make sure to let refrigerated tomatoes warm up to room temperature before using to regain some of their flavors loss during refrigeration.
No, do not wash tomatoes before storing them. Dampness will encourage the growth of bacteria, which cause them to decay faster. Wipe them clean using a dry paper towel or cloth instead.
Ok, that should cover most of the important information regarding tomatoes! Now, onto the recipes -
🥗Appetizers and salads
🍜Pasta, rice and other mains
🍲Soups and stews
🍽More vegan dinner recipes
I hope that you will find this post helpful and inspiring! Do let me know down in the comments below your favorite dish to make with tomatoes.