Cowboy Caviar

If there’s one recipe perfect for utilizing all those tasty veggies you planted in the Spring, it’s Cowboy Caviar. Loaded with ‘maters, peppers, and herbs, this stuff is downright addicting!

To make:

  • 6 diced Roma tomatoes 
  • 1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 med onion, diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 15 oz can of corn, drained
  • 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup of cilantro, chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp lime juice 
  • ½ cup light Italian dressing
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tsp salt

To make:

In a large bowl, add diced tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, jalapeno, avocado, corn, beans, and cilantro. Combine well. Stir in the lime juice, dressing, garlic, and salt. Mix everything together and serve with chips. That’s it!

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Tomato Pie

Tomato Pie is more common in the Carolinas than anywhere else in the country. However, that doesn’t mean everyone else can’t enjoy a slice of this old-school dish on the front porch with a salad and an ice cold glass of sweet tea. 

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pie crust (unbaked)
  • 4-5 sliced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup chopped green onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¾ cup mayo 
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

To make:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels. Lay your sliced tomatoes on paper towels in a single layer and sprinkle them with salt to draw out the juices. Let them sit for about 15 minutes and then pat them dry with paper towels. This will prevent a soggy pie (nobody likes a soggy pie). 

Roll out your pie crust and place it in a pie plate (or you can use a frozen pie crust already in a tin). Crimp the edges and poke holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. 

While your crust is baking, combine the basil, green onions and garlic into a bowl and stir. In another bowl, mix together the cheeses and mayo and season with the black pepper. Stir to combine. 

Remove the crust from the oven and layer half the tomatoes on the bottom of the crust. Sprinkle with half of the basil-onion mixture. Layer the remaining tomatoes on top and sprinkle with the remaining basil-onion mixture. Finish by spreading the cheese mixture over the top of the pie.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake the pie for 30 minutes until the cheese begins to lightly brown. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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Tip Top Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a vegetable garden staple. Grow gloriously red and ripe tomatoes this summer by following these tips!

Loads of Sun
Plant your maters in the sunniest spot in your garden. Tomatoes soak up loads up sunshine and need about seven hours of the stuff each day. When planting multiple plants, space the plants about 48 inches apart to allow light to reach the lower part of your plants. This will also improve air flow.

Rich Soil
Tomatoes dig rich, well-draining soil that is slightly acidic. Aim for a pH of 6.5 to 6.8. You can either use a soil tester at home or bring in a sample to your local garden center for a test. If you’ve got too much acidity, you can add dolomite lime. If the test results show that you have too much alkaline, you can add a little organic compost to your soil.

Bug Off Buddies
Placing companion plants like basil, onions, and garlic with your tomatoes can help ward off crop-damaging pets like nematodes. Moles also hate the pungent plant so…win-win.

Water and Mulch
Tomatoes need about an inch of water a week. To help keep the moisture from evaporating in the summer heat, spread a layer of mulch (shredded bark, grass clippings, etc.) on top of your soil.

So Long Suckers!
To keep your tomato plant’s energy focused on growing fruit, you’ll need to prune off the suckers. Suckers are the little leaves that shoot out from the main stem. This will help promote air circulation and reduce the chance of diseases.

We’ve got loads of lovely tomato plants at the Greenhouse. Stop on by and pick up a few!

Fried Green ‘Maters

Warm months are just around the corner and you’ll be able to reap the benefits of all your gorgeous tomato plants. Pass the grilled chicken, the potato salad, and, best of all, the fried green tomatoes!

What you’ll need:

4 large and firm green tomatoes (beefsteak work just fine)
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp pepper
2 eggs
1 tbsp water
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup olive oil
4 tbsp butter

To make:

Slice your tomatoes to about a quarter of an inch thick. Mix flower, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl or dish. In a second bowl, whisk eggs and water together. Put bread crumbs in another plate. Coat your tomatoes in the flour, then egg mixture, and finish with the bread crumbs.

In a hot pan, mix your butter and oil. When sizzling, add your tomatoes frying 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until they are tender. Transfer to a plate, sprinkle with salt and enjoy!

Haven’t planted your tomatoes yet? Head on out to the Greenhouse to pick up a few varieties perfect for sauces, salads, and, of course, fried green tomatoes!