After a few years of trying to grow a garden while ignoring it at the same time, I’ve given the job over to my husband. I should have done that a long time ago.

It seems he’s inherited his father’s green thumb. Our 8-by-12-foot box is overflowing with cucumbers, peppers — spicy and sweet — and an abundance of tomatoes, both large and small varieties. 

Tomatoes have become our best friends. I put tiny tomatoes in dishes from breakfast to supper and eat them for snacks in between.

Tomato season is in full swing at our farmers markets as well. So if you don’t grown them at home, there are plenty of tomato varieties to choose from there.

I Eat La.: Recipes for Mini Tomato Pies, Roasted Tomatoes & Zucchini, Canned Cherry Tomatoes

Both bite-size and full-size tomatoes are full of potential for creative cooking. But, of course, one of the best ways to eat them is warm right from the garden, cut into thick slices and dashed with salt and pepper. 

As the late Lewis Grizzard once said, “It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.”

Today I'm sharing some of my favorite garden fresh tomato recipes — baked into a mini pie, roasted with zucchini and canned to preserve our favorite summer tastes for the months to come.