In the Mediterranean, tomato recipes are abundant and delicious. There’s nothing better than a perfectly sun-ripened tomato for a homemade pasta sauce, chopped in an authentic Greek salad or eaten simply with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.
You know that point in late August/early September where you suddenly have too many tomatoes and you don’t know what to do with them? That time is now. It lasts well into September and it’s not a bad problem to have.
Actually, it’s my favorite problem to have because there’s no fruit or vegetable I love more than a juicy summer tomato drizzled with good extra virgin olive oil and a little sea salt. This type of flavor doesn’t exist in the wintertime. If you have too many tomatoes, whether it be cherry tomatoes, red beefsteak tomatoes, or heirloom tomatoes, these 7 tomato recipes will help you use them up in a delicious way.
Authentic Tomato Recipes
The first recipe is a comfort food that combines good bread, fresh tomato slices, and provolone cheese for a crunchy, melty, savory grilled cheese that will satisfy all your cravings.
First off, I use olive oil instead of butter. With the added oregano, this creates a flavor as delicious as butter. With the addition of tomato, there isn’t as big a need for a lot of cheese. This makes for a low calorie grilled sandwich that has all the flavor of my Mom’s grilled cheese sandwich, with a sophisticated taste of the Mediterranean. We served this with a simple salad with baby spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers and a dijon vinaigrette.
Next, check out my recipe for a traditional Greek salad. This is the exact Greek salad that accompanies almost every meal in the summer in Greece. Read about my first experience in Greece eating this timeless classic. Make this salad before the summer tomatoes are gone and it’s too late!
I put my luggage in my room and we walked through the busy streets to a traditional Greek taverna. The waiter brought us bread with extra virgin olive oil to dip. The oil was so good. Then he brought the greek salad. This was a moment I will never forget. I took one bite of a red, juicy tomato slice and I thought to myself “What have I been eating my whole life?!” This was the sweetest, most flavorful, deep red, and beefy tomato I had ever sunk my teeth into.
You can use up your tomatoes for breakfast too. One of the most traditional Mediterranean breakfast recipes is from Morrocco, shakshuka. Eggs poached in a tomato sauce loaded with herbs, spices, and some heat. If you’ve never heard of or tried shakshuka before, tomato season is the best time. When the runny yolk from the eggs mixes in with the spicy tomato sauce, you know you’re starting your day off right! You absolutely need some type of bread to dip in this dish.
One of my favorite breakfasts is this Moroccan shakshuka recipe; fresh tomatoes stewed in olive oil, cumin and smoked paprika; with a jalapeño pepper thrown in for extra flavor and topped with poached eggs. It is a filling Sunday morning kind of meal that is most satisfying if you have nothing especially important to do afterward. The extra juiciness of this meal lends itself to bread dipping whether it be a slice of whole grain baguette or a gluten-free cornbread.
The tomato vinaigrette recipe will use up all your cherry tomatoes. This is a perfect snack on bread or a great “dressing” for a salad. The mushrooms and tomatoes baked in wine from Patmos is another simple Mediterranean diet recipe. The juice left over is also amazing for dipping bread. As you can see, a lot of these recipes are great for dipping bread because the juice of the tomato, mixed with raw or cooked extra virgin olive oil, is so delicious, and so good for you too!
It’s that time of year again! The tomatoes are plentiful, heavy on the vine and perfectly ripened. If your sun gold, grape or cherry tomatoes are proliferating, have we got the Mediterranean Diet recipe for you. This lovely tomato vinaigrette dish is excellent served at room temperature over crisp lettuce. It also makes a great topping for crunchy crusted sourdough bread. Just add a little smear of butter or a drizzle of olive oil and top with the tomato vinaigrette for a taste of summer. Add a few shreds of parmesan and chopped herbs for another dimension of flavor. We also enjoy these tomatoes served over slices of fresh, good quality mozzarella. As you can see, this dish is incredibly versatile.
This is a recipe from the Greek island of Patmos that Koula Barydakis tried when visiting the island. She was impressed by the simplicity of these ingredients and how delicious it was. This dish is perfect for dipping bread.
The cucumber-tomato salad with feta and fresh mint is a very refreshing salad. I love the combination of mint and cucumber. I also love the combination of tomato and feta. Well, they all come together in this simple salad and it’s a nice change up from most of the Greek salads I eat that feature oregano as the herb. Speaking of tomato and feta, the last recipe is a simple recipe from Koula Barydakis. Fresh tomato slices are topped with a piece of feta, fresh chopped herbs, and lots of extra virgin olive oil. This is as simple as it gets, but if you use fresh garden tomatoes, fresh herbs, and good quality extra virgin olive oil, you literally can not go wrong.
Cucumber, Tomato and Red Onion Salad with Yogurt – Mint Dressing and Feta Cheese
We have invited Carol Borchardt from A Cookbook Obsession to share another of her delicious and healthful recipes. This recipe for Cucumber, Tomato and Red Onion Salad is a great choice for anyone seeking new Mediterranean Diet recipes. This salad is bright and flavorful, perfect to grace the table with any Mediterranean meal. We also recommend this salad for a satisfying lunch. This recipe is very similar to a crunchy traditional Greek Salad.
This has all the hallmarks of my favorite Mediterranean Diet recipes: Fresh tomatoes, fresh herbs, cheese and lots of olive oil. It is best to make this when all the ingredients are in season, the tomato at it’s full juicy ripeness, the herbs pungent and full of flavor. It can be a summer lunch with the addition of fresh bread and Greek olives and a glass of wine or a side dish at a Mediterranean barbecue with chicken souvlaki and grilled Caesar salad.
This homemade tomato paste is a classic Mediterranean staple that elevates with color, thickness and flavor.
Try our Homemade Tomato Paste here!