Ask Jen about what to do with too many tomatoes

basket of vegetables


I have tomatoes coming out of my ears by late August. I only have six tomato plants, so there’s not enough to go to the trouble of canning, but yet way too many for me and my small family to deal with. I need help!

—Too Many Tomatoes”

Dear TMT:

I am in the same boat. I always plant enough to make sure that at least half survive by late summer. When I plant less, none survive. Darned if ya do…right?BLT sandwich

For me, canning is a pain when you barely have enough to can one batch. I’d much rather eat ‘em and cook ‘em. You might find me eating a tomato like an apple. It’s like taking a bite out of crime.

I make small batches of stuff to freeze, like tomato soup, pasta sauce, pizza sauce and what not, just to use up the bulk of what is ripe. Then, as more ripen, we just eat them. I mean, you can’t go wrong with roasted veggies. Grilled tomatoes, anyone? BLTs? Battered and fried green tomatoes? Yes, please! Oh, and the best tomato and mozzarella salads in the world happen when you pick the tomatoes from your own garden. There’s a sense of pride with every bite you take. tomato slices and mozarella

Also, I like being friendly (thanks, mom); as I mentioned before with my zucchini post a couple weeks ago, don’t forget to be a neighbor. I’m sure your friends, relatives, neighbors, church family, coworkers and classmates would LOVE some fresh tomatoes if you have lots of extras. And don’t forget to seek out any charities that might make meals for the people in your community. Oh, and if all else fails, your Farm and Dairy friends love tomatoes, too (*wink wink).

Go make something awesome,

Roasted Veggies


4-6 small/medium tomatoes
4-6 carrots
1 yellow squash
1 zucchini
1 small eggplant
1 4-oz. package white button mushrooms
1 sweet potato
2 handfuls fresh green beans and/or asparagus
1 dozen fresh Brussels sprouts
1 large bottle balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, Italian or other seasonings to taste


Wash all veggies in cold water and let drip dry. Peel carrots and sweet potato, and cut into small bite-sized pieces. Slice the squash and zucchini thinly, and cut up the rest of the bigger veggies into bite sized pieces, leaving the green beans and zucchini whole. Season. Place everything in a sealable container and add balsamic vinaigrette, coating all veggies. Marinate in refrigerator overnight, or up to 12 hours, mixing to re-coat the veggies once or twice before cooking. Using a slotted spoon, spread veggies onto oven safe baking dishes/sheets, and roast in a  425° oven (turning once) for 20 minutes, or until they pass the fork test.

Tip: Use whatever veggies you have on hand; can include broccoli, cauliflower, olives, green, red or orange peppers, onion, etc. Make it your own!

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