Tomatoes : more than 70 delicious recipes
Avner Laskin ; photography by Danya Weiner.
New York : Sterling, c2010.
Inspired by the fragrant tomatoes found at farmers' markets, this collection of more than 70 recipes brings the staple ingredient's natural balance of tartness and sweetness to the table. The attractive Tomato and Fresh Goat Cheese Tarts are the perfect way to start off a meal, before progressing to a spicy Moroccan Fish and Tomato Bake or a family-style Roasted Beef Shoulder in Tomato Sauce. Featuring mouthwatering photos, this cookbook will stay in season all year long.
Tomato : a fresh-from-the-vine cookbook
Lawrence Davis-Hollander ; foreword by Deborah Madison ; photography by Sabra Krock.
North Adams, MA : Storey Pub., c2010.
There is nothing quite like summer's fresh, juicy, ripe tomatoes. Handpick them from a backyard garden, browse through the amazing displays at farmers' markets, pick up a full-to-bursting box as part of a CSA share, or stop at a roadside farmstand — excellent heirloom tomatoes are more widely available than ever before. Here are 150 tempting recipes, developed to celebrate heirlooms and highlight their glorious flavors. Featuring delicious recipes for everything from salsas, risottos, and Easy Curried Chicken to tarts, pizzas, and salads, this is the collection every tomato lover will be looking for come summer. There are appetizers, preserves, soups, salads, entrees, and even a few desserts to satisfy every tomato preference and craving. Sidebars on tomato lore, descriptions of heirloom varieties, chef profiles, and gardening tips provide a fascinating overview of one of our favorite garden foods. Adding a taste of celebrity pizazz to the collection, chefs Alice Waters, Deborah Madison, Daniel Boulud, Rick Bayless, and Melissa Kelly, to name a few, contribute treasures such as Chilled Sun Gold Tomato Soup and Tomato- Rice Casserole with Poblanos, Beef, and Melted Cheese. All the preparations in Tomato: A Fresh from-the-Vine Cookbook elevate the tomato to new culinary heights. For tomato lovers everywhere, here is a book that is as essential to the kitchen as the tomato itself.
Tomato : [a guide to the pleasures of choosing, growing, and cooking]
Gail Harland, Sofia Larrinua-Craxton.
New York, NY : Dorling Kindersley, c2009.
For both food lovers and gardeners, "Tomato" showcases the many varieties of tomatoes and shows how to grow them in pots, hanging baskets, grow bags, under glass, and outdoors.
The too many tomatoes cookbook : classic & exotic recipes from around the world
Brian Yarvin.
Woodstock, Vt. : Countryman Press, c2009.
The perfect kitchen companion for when your garden is teeming with tomatoes.Nothing tastes more heavenly than a marinara sauce or a salsa made from fresh, home-grown tomatoes, but when you're yearning for some more innovative dishes, fanatical chef and photographer Brian Yarvin (author of A World of Dumplings) provides more than 100 additional easy, mouth-watering recipes that will ensure that your succulent tomatoes won't go to waste.Yarvin first provides instructions for processing tomatoes to make the basic "starters": crushed tomatoes, whole peeled tomatoes, and passata (fresh tomato puree), so that you can quickly preserve their freshness. Easy to refrigerate and freeze, these tomato bases are the beginnings of the many delicious recipes that span the globe and range from traditional to unique, from salads and side dishes to soups; meat, poultry, and fish dishes, rice and pasta, pizza and calzone, salsas, ketchups, chutneys, and relishes, and even desserts.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans eat more than 22 pounds of tomatoes every year. More than half of this amount is eaten in the form of ketchup and tomato sauce.

Technically a tomato is a fruit, since it is the ripened ovary of a plant. There are more than 4,000 varieties of tomatoes, ranging from the small, marble-size cherry tomato to the giant Ponderosa that can weigh more than three pounds. Tomatoes provide an important source of Vitamins A and C.

Tomato varities

Beefsteak - large, used for sandwiches
Plum - higher solid content for use in tomato sauce and paste
Cherry tomatoes - small and sweet, eaten whole in salads

Ketchup Trivia

18th century ketchups were made from mushrooms, walnuts, anchovies, and other ingredients. Cooks made these ketchups aimed to reproduce a spicey fish sauce called ketsiap, admired for its salty, spicy flavor and because it kept indefinitely. 

19th century tomato ketchup soared in popularity. Tomato ketchup as we know it has vibrant flavors but otherwise little in common with the sauce that inspired it. The word "ketchup" and the variant spelling "catsup" may derive from the Chinese ketsiap.

The tomato plant has an easily recognizable smell. Their flowers take from 45 to 75 days to ripen, depending upon the variety.  All tomatoes start out green in color however, varieties exist that turn orange, pink, purple, yellow, striped, or white.

Not only is color a distingishing feature of tomatoes, but so is its shape and size.

  • Missouri Pink Love Apple - A pink tomato that has been grown since the Civil War in Missouri.
  • Old German - A large, yellow tomato that is streaked and mottled with crimson red. Its flavor is luscious and rich. It's an old Mennonite heirloom tomato that is very popular in the Ozarks.
  • Ingegnoli gigante Liscio - A giant smooth tomato that can grow up to 2 pounds. They are red and very tasty, having a more vibrant tomato flavor than many huge tomatoes. It is a historic Italian heirloom that was developed around 1900 from varieties "Ponderosa" and "Saint Louis." It is nearly extinct in the United States.
  • Pink Accordion - This is truly a unique, large pink tomato that is ruffled like an accordion. This tomato is semi-hollow which makes it excellent for stuffing. Its flavor is sweet and mild.
  • Pineapple - This tomato is very large, up to 2 pounds each. Their yellow fruit has red marbling through the flesh. It has a very sweet and fruity flavor.

Once you have selected your choice tomato, delve into the assortment of wonderful, tantalizing recipes, that can be cooked up for your family and friends to enjoy!

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff