While all the produce that hits farmers market stalls in the summer months makes me giddy, nothing gets me more excited than tomatoes. Each week, I find myself loading up on as many as I can carry home, in an array of colors, shapes, and sizes. How I'll consume them is never really settled until I am back in my kitchen, although I never worry I'll have trouble finding a way to eat them up.
The classic applications are on repeat, of course — tomato toasts, BLTs, and caprese salads — but that's really just the beginning. There are tons of new and exciting ways to eat your weight in tomatoes before the season comes to a close — it just takes adding a fresh jolt of energy to the mix. These five recipes do just that.
Riff on Most-Loved Tomato Recipes
Classic tomato dishes are turned to time and time again, and for good reason — they are just too tasty not to. While I could eat a BLT every day throughout the summer, it's fun to mix things up by turning the sandwich into a pasta salad. The usual elements are all there — bacon, greens, and, of course, tomatoes — but they're tossed with fusilli and a creamy, tangy Greek yogurt dressing to make a dish that's definitely fit for a potluck, barbecue, or picnic.
Fresh tomato sauce recipes for easy pasta dinners are also abundant this time of year, but most require dicing or grating. Instead, just toss a slew of chopped tomatoes into the food processor and let the machine do the work for you. That's summer ease at its best — and it's most fresh.
Dig Around Your Pantry
One of the best ways to make the most of summer tomatoes is to look at what you may already have in your kitchen. That dusty can of white beans you bought months ago for soup might not look like much this time of year, but it can bring new life to that pint of cherry or grape tomatoes you bought on impulse at the market. Bring them together in a big bowl with a few big handfuls of fresh herbs and a tangy dressing and you've got a bright new summer salad to add to the roster. It's hearty enough to stand as a vegetarian dinner — perfect for the those lazy, no-cook nights.
Don't Be Afraid to Apply Some Heat
It may seem criminal to cook summer tomatoes, but a little heat can actually make juicier and sweeter. Slowly cook cherry tomatoes until they are caramelized and jammy and you've got the most luscious, savory riff on tarte tatin, the classic French pastry, that could possibly exist.
Thick wedges of beefsteak or heirloom tomatoes also make one heck of an addition to a beef stir-fry. The wedges release just enough of their juices to create a sweet and savory sauce for the stir-fry, yet still manage to maintain their shape and texture. How's that for a fresh take?