Tomato season is here. Heirlooms, beefsteaks, plums, and all those luscious mini tomatoes are ripe and ready to be eaten while they're at their very best. You don't have to do much to show them off. In fact, when it comes to ripe tomatoes, the less futzing the better.
Here are five recipes, lean in ingredients and rich in tomato flavor, that can be made in a flash. With a few embellishments, the recipes quickly raise these summer lovelies to something extraordinary so you can get your tomato fix in 20 minutes or less.
Your Fast Tomato Fix
Now that tomato season has come into full swing, we're getting our fill every way possible. Once you've enjoyed them with a fat pinch of salt and a glug of olive oil, it's time to bring some extra flavor to the party.
The 1-Minute Fix: The Updated Tomato Sandwich
The earthy sweetness of a dab of honey brings out the tomatoes' sultry undertones with only a minute's work, turning your familiar preparation of tomatoes on toast into a sweet and savory revelation.
The 5-Minute Fix: The Salty-Sweet Tomato Stir-Fry
Stir-fry tomatoes. You got it. The briny punch of capers contrasts with the tiniest of blistered tomatoes in a recipe that's ready in five minutes. Off the heat, it's slathered with butter and glazed with whisper of honey.
The 10-Minute Fix: Fresh and Garlicky Tomato Spaghetti
In this recipe, delicate strands of whol- wheat angel hair pasta get draped in a freshly grated tomato sauce. They get a punch of intensity from the bite of raw garlic.
The 15-Minute Fix: The Ultimate Tomato Tart
The Aegean-inspired whip of feta and cream is warmed with a pinch of cinnamon, supporting your fattest, thickest tomatoes. It's all about showcasing the greatness of summer tomatoes in record time.
The 20-Minute Fix: Fresh Tomato Risotto
Pressure-cooker risotto, with copious amounts of meaty plum tomatoes and a pinch of shallot and butter, is ready in 20 minutes. The tomatoes leave the risotto glossy and pink, and an extra helping of dressed tomatoes get spooned over before serving.
Choosing Different Tomatoes for Different Tasks
Thankfully, tomatoes at the store are no longer limited to Jersey beefsteaks and hot-house specialties. Each tomato has a different taste and texture, which makes them well-suited for particular recipes
- Heirloom tomatoes are great sliced, which is why you often find them on toast or as the topping on a tart. A juicy beefsteak can play that role just as well. Don't forget to salt them to draw out their flavor and remove excess liquid.
- Baby tomatoes are great in salad, but they really shine when they get heated up just enough to be hot so their sweetness rocks in your mouth.
- Plum tomatoes have been the backbone of tomato sauces in Europe since tomatoes were introduced around the 15th century, but here in the United States, until recently we have only been able to get the prized San Marzano canned. If you can find them in your market, grate them and they're ready to go — no heat, no fuss, no muss. They're that good.
- Orange and yellow tomatoes tend to be less acidic than their red counterpart and can provide balance when a large number of tomatoes are used in a dish.
No matter what type of tomato you choose, you can give it a starring role in your kitchen production in only minutes. Go now, and do not tarry. Get your tomato fix. The recipes are fast and so is tomato season. They're waiting for showtime right now.