Tag Archives: tomatoes

Tomato Overload

Guess what didn’t take Labor Day off? The tomatoes in your garden. It’s hard to keep up with the crop, though I’m trying my darndest, and probably headed for whatever toxic event occurs from too many tomatoes. I swear those suckers ripen by the hour. It’s all good though, except that there’s this one doctor out there on the interwebs who gets really bad on tomatoes. I just have to ignore his advice for the next couple of weeks. Same with the corn haters. Now is NOT the time.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, let’s just revisit some of our all-time tomato season favorites. Purists of course will go no further than the white bread and mayo tomato sandwich. Solid. But it uses exactly one tomato. Not helpful. When you’re looking for mass consumption of the bounty, I suggest a batch or two of sweet and spicy tomato jam. For the easiest dinner on the planet, totally appropriate for hands off entertaining, go for Best of Summer Simmer Chicken. If your job is to bring a side, embrace the heat with Summer Perfection Watermelon Tomato Feta Salad, or just go straight for Most Popular with THE Panzanella.

If those don’t use up your tomato backlog, here is an easy way to give your tomatoes (and the taste of summer) a little more staying power.

If nothing else you should go to Smitten Kitchen just to look at the picture of the pre-roasting tomato rainbow. Impressive. Mine do not look like that. BUT I assure you they taste darned good, and they are perfect to throw on a pizza, spoon on bruschetta, toss into a salad, smoosh on bread, mix in pasta, etc. You get the picture.

Slow roasted tomatoes, just hanging with the fresh crowd.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

From Smitten Kitchen


  • Cherry, grape or small Roma tomatoes
  • Whole gloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • Olive oil
  • Herbs such as thyme or rosemary (optional)


Preheat oven to 225°F. Halve each cherry or grape tomato crosswise, or Roma tomato lengthwise and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet along with the cloves of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, just enough to make the tomatoes glisten. Sprinkle herbs on, if you are using them, and salt and pepper, though go easily on these because the finished product will be so flavorful you’ll need very little to help it along.

Bake the tomatoes in the oven for about 3 hours. You want the tomatoes to be shriveled and dry, but with a little juice left inside–this could take more or less time depending on the size of your tomatoes. When they are done, you can remove the cloves of garlic and save them for another use. They’re a delish side bennie.

Use the tomatoes right away or let them cool, cover them with some extra olive oil and keep them in the fridge for the best summer condiment, ever.

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Funitella Bruschetta

This was my first course in neighborhood recipe dynamics. I got it from Pierces Inn, and they later scoffed at taking any credit since they got it from another neighbor in Etna. As I let myself become locally famous for my bruschetta another neighbor went to visit my parents in Squaw Valley where he rode the funky tram-like gondola called the Funitel. In a flash of inspiration the next time I saw him, on our patio enjoying said dish, he dubbed it “Funitella,” which sort of tied it to my Squaw Valley roots. It later became funitella bruschetta, which gave a better clue about the recipe type, while also sounding like a stripper or a hot Austin Powers agent.


  • 35 oz canned tomatoes, well drained over a sieve. (Petite dice is ideal but not necessary. I use a combi of regular, and burgundy+olive oil, or Italian herb tomatoes)
  • ½ cup olive oil (I use a bit less)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (I use more…enough that Pierce’s Inn disowns the recipe as made by me. Your call to taste.)
  • 4 garlic cloves minced or pressed
  • A good handful fresh basil, chopped fine
  • Coarse salt and pepper to taste
  • Chunk of feta cheese (enough to crumble over the bottom surface of your dish)


The tomato mixture

The tomato mixture


The feta. These two really ought to meet…






Mix all ingredients except feta. Let it sit awhile if you can to combine flavors. Crumble feta in the bottom of a shallow baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 for 20 minutes. Top with shaved Parmesan if desired. Serve on top of bruschetta toasts (ideally made from easiest french bread ever).

Bring It!

I always serve it in the Simon Pearce round white dish the fabulous Suzi gave me. It just seems better in a friend’s dish. You can also bring it deconstructed, in separate containers and quickly assemble it at your destination. Any leftover tomatoes are awesome in omelets, quesadillas, salads, etc.

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