20 Things to Do with Those First Summer Tomatoes

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

I believe nothing comes with greater anticipation than tomato season. Once I see those first red glimpses at the farmers market, I know summer has most definitely arrived. I plan to get my fill from now through Labor Day, which means plenty of mains, sides, salads, and more that praise the juicy tomato.

Here are 20 of my favorites, from tomato-mango salsa to fresh tomato risotto to tomato cobbler with cornmeal-cheddar biscuits.

Main Dishes Featuring Tomatoes

When summer tomatoes finally arrive, it’s hard not to want to just eat them out of hand. But, in my opinion, the best way to get your fill is by putting them at the center of your main course. Roast them, whiz them up into soup, or turn them into the easiest no-cook tomato sauce.

How to Make the Best Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich(Image credit: Jeff Roffman)

Tomatoes on Bread

Pile some sweet tomatoes on good bread and you have one seriously wonderful thing. Adding cheese to the mix won’t hurt either.

Tomato Salsa Salad(Image credit: Sara Kate Gillingham)

Tomato Salads, Side Dishes, and a Salsa

Forgo the lettuce and let tomatoes star in summer salads this time of year. Or go ahead and turn them into a juicy side dish or fresh salsa. The thing about tomatoes in season is that it doesn’t take a lot of work to turn them into something spectacular.