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Since the tomato is a member of the nightshade family, it was slow to

gain acceptance on the American dinner table; many believed it

contained the same poisonous properties as its cousins in the same

family.  However, in the early 1800's, an eccentric New Jersey man

Colonel Robert Gibbon Johnson brought them back from a trip overseas.

Announcing an amazing display of courage, he shocked his hometown by

consuming an entire basket of tomatoes in front of a crowd of spectators, who probably expected him to die afterward. He didn't, and interest in the tomato grew. It is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A, potassium and iron.  It also has the chemical lycopene, which helps reduce the risk for prostate, breast, endometrial, colon, lung and stomach cancers.



Tomato Chutney

4 lbs ripe tomatoes, stem ends removed and cores removed, peeled and chopped

3 lbs tart apples, peeled cored and diced

2 cups chopped onions

1 green pepper, seeded and chopped

2 cups raisins

3 cups packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon table salt

1 teaspoon ground ginger

3 cups cider vinegar

3 tablespoons whole mixed pickling spices, tied in double layer of cheesecloth


Put all ingredients in to large pot.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil, uncovered, for about 45 minutes or until fruit is tender.


Discard spice bag. Fill hot sterilized pint jars to within 1/2 inch of top. Place sterlized metal lids on jars and screw metal bands on securely.


For added assurance against spoilage, you may choose to process for 5 minutes in a boiling water bath.



Marinated Tomato Salad

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons vinegar

4 large tomatoes, sliced

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 large sweet onion, sliced about 1/4 inch thick

1 fresh ground black pepper


Mash garlic with salt, blend into the oil and vinegar.  Mix dressing with tomatoes, parsley and basil.  Chill 2 to 3 hours before serving.

Separate into 4 servings and top with slices of sweet onion.  Add black pepper to taste.



Quick Fresh Tomato and Basil Soup

2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes

1 tablespoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

8 oz. vegatable or chicken stock

2 oz. heavy cream


Add tomatoes, basil, sugar and  stock to a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Simmer for about 5 minues.  Using a hand blender, blend the soup until smooth.


Add cream and return to heat for 3 minutes more to heat through, or chill and serve cold.

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