Retro Recipes for Summer Tomatoes

Follow these vintage recipes for ideas on what to do with your summer tomatoes.
By: Michael Donahue
Tomatoes and Basil

Mixed Red and Yellow Tomatoes Paired With Basil Plant

Few culinary combinations are as celebrated, or delicious, as fresh tomatoes and basil. The pairing is not only tasty, but the bright, brilliant colors look very pleasing together.

Tomato time means produce departments and roadside stands full of summer's favorite red fruit (next to watermelon). And, if you're lucky, ambitious neighbors who grew more plants than they needed will soon bring over numerous bags of the rosy orbs. So, what are you going to do with all those tomatoes? Enjoy some of these classic recipes.

Eggs in Tomatoes

Select tomatoes that are ripe but firm. Plunge them in boiling water for a moment and remove skins. Cut out hard stem ends, making in each tomato a hollow large enough to hold a broken egg. Into each of the hollows drop a fresh egg without breaking the yolk, season with butter, pepper and salt and bake in a moderate oven until tomatoes are tender and eggs are set. Serve on rounds of buttered toast with a cream sauce.

From a vintage Calumet Baking Soda recipe booklet

Tomatoes Stuffed with Celery and Ham

Ingredients:

5 ripe tomatoes
4 Tbsp. diced celery
1/2 cup cold ham
1/2 cup salad dressing

Preparation:

Peel tomatoes, discard stem ends, remove center pulp and mix with celery, ham and salad dressing. Refill tomatoes and serve on lettuce leaf.

From "60 Ways to Serve Ham," a vintage Armour and Company recipe booklet

Escalloped Tomatoes

Ingredients:

1 pint peeled and cut tomatoes
2 cups grated bread crumbs
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. butter
a suggestion of pepper

Preparation:

Reserve 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs and spread the remainder on a pan. Brown in the oven, and be careful not to burn them. Mix the tomato, browned crumbs, salt, pepper and half the butter together, and put in a shallow baking dish. Spread the unbrowned crumbs on top, and dot with the remainder of the butter cut into bits. Bake in a moderately hot oven for half an hour. The top of this dish should be brown and crisp.

From a 1927 Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. recipe booklet

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