Tomato recipes to use up a bumper crop

An overhead view of two bowls of reddish soup sprinkled with diced vegetables and slices of tomato.
Charred gazpacho.
(Leslie Grow / For The Times)

Early last week, a friend of mine who tends an urban farm in Silver Lake sent me the best message I can hope for in summer. “I have a basket of tomatoes for you!”

After a flurry of heart emojis, my mind got to dreaming about all the tomato recipes I’d make with this gift. When he arrived with the tomatoes, there was a wonderful variety of yellow cherry-sized tomatoes, some ruby-red round specimens, and a Peruvian tomato that looked like someone glued a bunch of cherry tomatoes into one large tomato.

This gesture reminded me of farmers back in Mississippi who would always show up at our doorstep in summer to gift buckets of extra tomatoes. I know this happens everywhere all over the country too, so I wanted to recommend some recipes to use them up if you find yourself in the same (fortunate) situation.

I immediately thought of my Savory Cherry Tomato Clafoutis, which is more like a frittata, to use up those sunny cherry tomatoes. A slice of that with coffee is one of my favorite breakfasts in summer, whether eaten hot or cold the next day.

A handful of slightly larger, Christmas-light-shaped tomatoes looked perfect to confit and throw into my friend Alexis deBoschnek’s Pasta With Tomato Confit and Ricotta. Cook up a bit of pasta, then just stir in the tomatoes and the ricotta — I can’t think of an easier summer dish.

With the rest of the larger tomatoes, I want to show off their stunning color, so I’ll make Rodney Scott’s Marinated Tomatoes and Onions to keep around to use as a sort of pickle on the side of meals throughout the week. And I’ll use some wedges to make Jenny Dorsey’s Tomato & Egg Stir-Fry, which is one of my favorite pairings, the creamy eggs softening the bright acidity of the tomatoes.


And when I have a few stragglers or trimmed bits and bobs of tomatoes left at the end of the week, I’ll make my Charred Gazpacho, which gets its lightly smoky flavor from some grilled bread. It takes just a few minutes to whip up and stores well in the refrigerator for days — perfect for me to grab when I want a refreshing taste of that gift of wonderful tomatoes that started the week.

Savory Cherry Tomato Clafoutis

Farmers market cherry tomatoes — typically no bigger than marbles — work perfectly here, but so do grocery store grape and cherry varieties; just use the smallest ones you can find. Serve this dish for breakfast or with a salad for lunch.
Get the recipe.
Cook time: 35 minutes.

Tomato and Egg Stir-Fry

A classic Chinese preparation, tomatoes and eggs are cooked here with scallions and garlic, and then served with a cumin-scented rice and simple garlicky greens. Make the greens and stir-fry while the rice is cooking so everything comes together at the same time.
Get the recipe.
Cook time: 30 minutes.

Overhead view of a plate with a mix of tomatoes and eggs and chopped green onion, alongside a plate of steamed greens.
(Silvia Razgova / For The Times)

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Marinated Tomatoes and Onions

Depending on the variety of tomato you use, the flavor will be some combination of sweet, tangy and salty. That’s the same combination in the dressing here. There’s a little sugar in both the vinaigrette and the rib rub that helps heighten the sweetness of the tomatoes and onion.
Get the recipe.
Cook time: 15 minutes.

Wedges of tomatoes and hefty slices of onion with basil leaves in a vinaigrette.
(Jerrelle Guy)

Pasta With Tomato Confit and Ricotta

Tomato confit is great on just about everything — topped on pizza, piled high on charred sourdough, swirled in with creamy polenta — but I find it’s particularly good mixed into pasta with heaps of ricotta. When you have an abundance of tomatoes on the counter that have started to wither or have just passed their peak flavor, this is a great way to resurrect them.
Get the recipe.
Cook time: 20 minutes, plus 2 hours, largely unattended, for tomatoes.

Overhead view of two plates with gemelli pasta and small whole charred tomatoes.
(Nicole Franzen)

Charred Gazpacho

The flavor of charred bread is the key to this bright, bubbly gazpacho, so use the best you can find. I like using sweet cherry tomatoes here because you can chuck them into the blender with no prep, but if you have super ripe beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes, give them a rough chop and use those instead.
Get the recipe.
Cook time: 15 minutes, plus 1 hour chilling.

Overhead view of a bowl with reddish soup. On top are drips of olive oil, sliced tomatoes and chopped cucumber.
(Leslie Grow / For The Times)

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