Sunset Garden Cookbook Contest: We Are All Winners!

I feel a little guilty now that I made the winners of our new Sunset Edible Garden Cookbooks work so hard. If you missed my post announcing the contest, I asked for a favorite tomato recipe. Maybe that’s why only three people entered. Lucky them! But lucky us, too. Here are their scrumptious recipes:


Laura McG. from Southern California not only entered a tomato recipe, but an entire experience:

On a warm autumn morning (back east we call it Indian Summer, but here on the left coast it is so common it has no special name), make your morning brew:  coffee, tea, whatever gets you going.  Maybe you have to read some of your favorite gardening blogs to get you going, so do that if it works for you….Once sufficiently fueled, wander out to your garden and feel the lure of your tomato plant(s) and the glorious sun that you pined for all through the gloomy days of spring.

Eat a tomato filled with its sugars, warm from the growing heat of the day. Have another, some more.  There can be no guilt about a nutritious breakfast such as this, although perhaps at some point you may feel a pang about others who helped in the creation of this verdant plot, so carry a few back to the house for sharing.  Maybe a few for the neighbors who have to see you prowling your yard in your pj’s, stained with that distinctive tomato-plant green.

It is entirely possible in Zone 10 to repeat this ritual fairly regularly even up to Thanksgiving.  In that case:

Slice tomatoes, arrange on a platter, drizzle with your best olive oil, grind on some black pepper, sprinkle with a wonderfully textural salt and pass among your guests at the feast.  Indian Summer Tomatoes:  the antidote to a rich holiday dinner and the memories of dreary spring days.

Give that woman a book, right? I think Laura should start a blog and share more of her lovely recipes, ideas and prose!


Here’s another winner, Candy, who I know from the world of gardening blogs as SweetStuff. (Her blog, Sweetstuff’s Sassy Succulents,  is out of sight!):

Avocado, Tomato Salsa

Two ripe avocados cubed

Two or three nice ripe tomatoes diced (however many tomatoes you like or how big the avocados were.)

1/2 to 1/3 cup tiny diced red onion

1/4 cup cilantro cut up.

Juice of one very juicy lime

Salt to taste

Mix all together and yummo.  I love this salsa!  It is great over talapia or chicken.  I love to make turkey burgers and put this on top! Sometimes I make a bowl and eat just by itself!

 Happy Mothers Day!



This is a recipe submitted by Annette, a mystery reader (to me) who clearly knows her tomatoes and gardens!

Fabulous Multi-Purpose Tomato Recipe

I like to roast my tomatoes! I’ve been averaging about 18 different varieties of tomato plants every spring.

When it seems like they ripen at the same time, I slice them up (any thickness you desire), lay as many of them in a single layer on a baking pan brushed with olive oiled.  Sprinkle your favorite herbs, hopefully from your garden, drizzle more olive oil over the slices, and bake at 425 degrees until the slices are wilted, about 15-20 minutes.

When the tomatoes cool down, scoop them into a freezer bag.  Lay bag flat in freezer. Add more bagged frozen roasted toms as the season progresses.

When tomato season is over, you’ll have wonderful tastes of summer in the freezer all winter long.  Make full flavored tomato soups (FAVORITE!),  sauces for pasta, rice or meats.  Use one type of tom. or mix different varieties.  It’s all GOOD!  Enjoy!  Annette


Thank you all for sharing your recipes. Please just email me your mailing addresses, and a copy of the The Sunset Edible Garden Cookbook: Fresh, Healthy Cooking from the Garden should be landing in your mailbox shortly!






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