Why I Love Summer: Tomatoes

Most of the year, open my kitchen pantry and you'll find stack upon stack of canned tomatoes. That's because I refuse to buy them fresh when they're out of season. Sure, lots of food suffers in its off season, shipped from afar or forced in less-than-ideal growing conditions. But I find the variation in tomatoes by far the most drastic: a supermarket tomato in February has nothing in common with a garden tomato in July.

All of this makes for quite the eager tomato fan come summer. From the garden, farmers market, or handed over the fence from a generous next door neighbor, nothing beats summer's harvest of tomatoes. We've had them with every meal for the last week, drizzled with olive oil and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper.

What's your favorite way to eat fresh summer tomatoes? Do you hold out for them like I do, and if so, how do you make do for the rest of the year?

(Images: Flickr member Andrew Malone, licensed for use under Creative Commons)