Nothing brings to mind summer like the fresh taste of homegrown
tomatoes. One container of potting soil and a tomato plant
will allow you to enjoy fresh tomato dishes with just a little effort
and a few ingredients.
GROWING YOUR TOMATOES
Tomatoes fall into categories such as determinate, which means
they grow to about 3 feet and stop; semi-determinates which grow
to 5 foot or so, and finally, indeterminates, which will continue to
grow until they are killed by frost. For a simple tomato to start
off with, visit your garden center and ask for a determinate tomato
plant. You will also need a 14 inch pot and potting soil. You
can support your plant with a stake, or a tomato cage as it grows.
Plant your tomato by stripping off all but the top 4-5 leaves and
put them into the dirt deeply where the leaves are about the
soil line. Be sure to place your pot in full sun, and keep the
soil moist, but avoid wetting the leaves. You also can fertilize
every two weeks if you wish. I do not use chemicals on my
plants because I have children and prefer to avoid them. If you
have fish, the water from the fish tank is a good thing to use
in place of fertilizer.
If you have room for more than one tomato by all means grow
as many as you can! You can also visit a farmer's market or
road side stand to buy your tomatoes for these wonderful, nutritious
WHITE BEAN AND TOMATO SALAD
1 (15 ounce can) white beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1 cup (1/2 pound) tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/3 cup minced parsley
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 tsp. each basil, thyme, and oregano
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Combine all ingredients; toss gently to mix. Chill until
ready to serve. Serves 4.
GREEN BEANS AND TOMATO ITALIAN
3/4 pound green beans
1/2 cup red onion rings
1/4 cup Italian dressing
2 tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Place green beans, onion and dressing in microwaveable
bowl; cover. Microwave on high 8-10 minutes or until
beans are tender-crisp , stirring after 2 minutes. Stir in
tomatoes and basil. Serves 6.
4 medium ripe tomatoes
1/4 cup cracker crumbs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried oregano or basil
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tablespoon oil
Wash tomatoes, slice in half crosswise. Place on baking sheet,
cut side up. Mix crumbs, seasonings and oil. Sprinkle mixture
on each tomato. Broil 8-10 inches from heat about 4 minutes
or until golden brown. Garnish with parsley sprigs. Serves 4.
Calories 76, Fat 4 g, Cholesterol 8 g, Protein 2 g
TOMATO COTTAGE CHEESE SALAD
1 (12 ounce) carton cottage cheese
1/2 tsp. each of dried basil and oregano or 1 tsp. fresh
1/2 tsp. salt
3 medium to large tomatoes, sliced
Combine cottage cheese, herbs and salt. Arrange
3 tomato slices on lettuce for each salad. Top with
a mound of cottage cheese. Garnish with a sprinkling
of fresh chives on each salad. Makes 6 servings.
ITALIAN CHICKEN, TOMATO, AND BREAD SALAD
4 large tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
4 grilled chicken-breast halves, cut in strips
1 1/2 cups cubed Italian bread (1/2 inch cubes)
1 cup loosely packed basil, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup bottles Italian dressing
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
Mix all ingredients in a large serving bowl. Let stand
30 minutes for flavors to blend, or refrigerate up to
6 hours. Serves 5.
Brenda Hyde is a wife, mom, freelance writer and editor at
For more herb tips, recipes and gardening features visit her at The Garden Path.
on this article or submit your tip to CreativeHomemaking.com.
for a printer friendly version of this page.
Follow me on Pinterest
Receive new article links via Twitter
Follow Creative Homemaking on Facebook
this article to a friend!
our article archives.
to subscribe to our weekly newsletter.