Imagine it's the second week of March, it's still six below outside, and every time the wind blows you feel it in your bones. Maybe you feel like you might never warm up, and that spring will never come. Maybe you have some bags of frozen tomatoes left in your freezer, but can't possible make another tomato sauce.

The solution is simple. MAKE SHAKHUKA. It will warm you thoroughly, from the inside out. You'll be stripping off layers and dreaming of spring. We promise. 

This dish is traditional Middle Eastern stew that wins my heart in all seasons. It's my favorite quick, easy, and spicy way to enjoy tomatoes in the summer, AND my favorite thing to do with chopped frozen tomatoes in the winter.  

1/4 C olive oil
3 jalapenos (or less, for less heat)
1 yellow onion
5 cloves of garlic
1 tsp paprika
Approx. 2 lbs tomatoes
4 - 6 eggs

Heat oil, chilis, and onions in a pan on medium heat for 6 minutes, then add chopped garlic, cumin, and paprika and sautee for two more minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer until the stew has thickened - about 15 minutes. Crack eggs over top of tomato stew and gently baste with stem, being careful not to disturb the eggs. Remove from heat when egg whites have set but yolk is still runny - 3 to 5 minutes.


Care & Storage

For Eating Fresh: Store at room temperature for a day or two, depending on how ripe they are - green tomatoes that are to be used green can be stored in your fridge.

To Freeze: Wash, remove blemishes, and cut into bite-sized pieces. (Tip: If you lay the pieces on a tray in the freezer before putting them in a container, then the pieces will freeze individually instead of in a large clump and can be used at different times instead of all at once.)


August - October

Varieties of Note

Sun Gold Cherry (orange)
These are just so good that we’ve decided not to bother with any other cherries.

Premio (red)
Indigo Rose (deep purple/blue)
Violet Jasper (striped red and green)
Green Zebra (striped green and yellow)

With a lower water content and a higher flesh to seed ratio than most other tomatoes these are the way to go when making tomato sauce. Definitely worth seeking out.

Paragon (red)
Red Brandywine (red heirloom)
Cosmonaut Volkov (red heirloom)
Pruden's Purple (red heirloom)
Pink Brandywine (pink heirloom)
Rose de Berne (pink heirloom)
Valencia (orange heirloom)
Goldie (orange heirloom)
Cherokee Purple (purple heirloom)


Tomato and Peach Salad
Adapted from

This may sound odd, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. 

3-4 fresh tomatoes, sliced into wedges
2-3 ripe peaches, sliced into wedges
½ a red onion, in thin slices, or less to taste
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss the tomatoes, peaches, onion, cilantro, and red pepper flakes. Dress with olive oil and lemon or lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

A Chunky, Spicier, More Interesting Tomato Ketchup 
Adapted from The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich

10 lbs tomatoes, coarsely chopped
4 large onions, minced (about 4 cups)
4 sweet red peppers, chopped (about 2½ cups)
4 fresh hot peppers, such as jalapeno, minced
One 3-inch cinnamon stick, broken
1 tbsp whole yellow mustard seeds
2 tsp whole celery seeds
2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp whole allspice berries
¼ tsp whole cloves
½ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp pickling salt
2 cups cider vinegar

Tie the spices in a spice bag or in a scrap of cheesecloth. Combine the spice bag and all the remaining ingredients in a large heavy pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer until thick, about 3 hours. Refrigerate and use within a few months, or ladle into half-pint mason jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace, and process for 15 minutes in a boiling-water bath.


Simple Marinara Sauce
This sauce will freeze well and be delicious throughout the winter. Feel free to get creative with additions to this simple recipe.

8 lbs of fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
12 cloves garlic, crushed slightly with the side of a knife
1 bunch basil, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the garlic cloves and stir for just 30 seconds or so. Add the tomatoes and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is thickened, about 10-15 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the basil, salt and pepper. Serve as is, or if you like, pass through a food processor or blender.