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Great Recipes for your Heirloom Tomatoes 

By Karen England

In my last article, I told you it was tomato season and that you might want to consider planting one or more of the over 25 varieties of heirloom tomatoes Sunshine Gardens is carrying this season. This is in addition to the over 12 popular hybrid tomato varieties that Sunshine carries, like “Beefsteak”, “Patio“, “Early Girl” & “Jubilee” that you should also consider growing this year. Now the question is what to do with the harvest? I highly recommend the following recipes, which are three of my favorite ways to use my tomato harvest.


(This recipe is from the S.O.S. column of the L.A. Times Food Section. It is the Best!)

1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cups diced onions
2 slices of bacon, cooked ‘til crisp and crumbled
6 to 8 “Roma” tomatoes, diced
1 quart chicken stock
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 Tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon sugar
1Tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 Tablespoons torn fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Garlic croutons, optional
Additional chopped fresh herbs, optional

In a medium saucepan over medium heat sauté the onions in the olive oil ‘til soft and beginning to brown. Add everything else, except salt & pepper, croutons & additional fresh herbs & bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Using an immersion (sometimes called a “stick“) blender or a food processor, puree soup ‘til smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot with garlic croutons and a sprinkling of fresh herbs.


(The inspiration for this recipe is from a little book titled Mustards, ketchups & vinegars: making the most of seasonal abundance by Carol W. Costenbader, Storey Communications Inc., Publisher ã 1996)

1 lb. Cherry tomatoes, washed & halved
1 white onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 bunch cilantro, washed, dried and stems removed
Zest & juice of one “Mexican” lime
1 - 2 jalapeno peppers, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of sugar
Salt & pepper to taste
Dash of olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to a medium coarse consistency.


(The original recipe was from the Farmhouse Cookbook by Susan Herrmann Loomis, Workman Publishers, ã 1991. Very wonderful, but complicated. All I did was simplify it to use leftover chicken or turkey and store bought tortillas. Enjoy!)

Preheat oven to 350° .

Leftover cooked chicken or turkey
8-12 flour tortillas
Grated jack & cheddar cheese
1- 2 bunches cilantro, washed, dried, stems removed & chopped
Enchilada sauce (recipe follows):
6 medium tomatoes (2 ½ lbs)
2-3 jalapenos
1 Tablespoon corn oil
1 medium brown onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 Tablespoons vinegar
1 cup chicken stock
½ of the chopped cilantro

To Make Sauce:

Roast or broil the tomatoes & jalapenos turning often ‘til the skins are brown all over (jalapenos take approximately 15 minutes & tomatoes take about 30 minutes to brown on all sides). Cool somewhat, remove skins if possible - don’t worry about getting it all. Puree the tomatoes & jalapenos in a food processor or blender.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat & sauté onion ‘til soft. Add the garlic & sauté briefly, then add in the pureed tomatoes & jalapenos, chicken stock & vinegar and cook on low ‘til slightly thick. Remove from heat and stir in half the chopped cilantro.

Assemble the Enchiladas:

Dip each tortilla into the warm enchilada sauce to soften, fill with some chicken or turkey, some cheese (reserve some cheese for on top), some cilantro and some sauce & roll up. Repeat process until a 13” x 9” casserole is full. Pour any remaining sauce over the enchiladas & top the casserole with remaining cilantro and reserved cheese. Bake 30 minutes or longer ’til cheese is melted and browning and everything is heated through.

Karen England is the "Queen of Edgehill Herb Farm".


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