Recipe Review

My Favorite Way to Use Up Wrinkly, On-the-Verge-of-Going-Bad Tomatoes

updated Aug 29, 2019
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Credit: Sheela Prakash

A glance at my kitchen counter right now reveals my current dilemma: There’s a serious abundance of tomatoes. I’ve got heirloom, beefsteak, plum, and cherry tomatoes all piled in a corner waiting to meet their fate. That’s because I know the end of the season is right around the corner, and I can’t get enough of these sweet, juicy beauties when they’re fresh and local.

I have a tendency to go overboard; I like to call it enthusiasm. And even though I’m eating fresh tomatoes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I still can’t get to all of them in time before they start to wrinkle and get soft.

But I have a recipe that solves this problem.

Lean into the Wrinkles by Blistering Tomatoes

Tomatoes, specifically cherry or grape varieties, can start to wrinkle and get soft when they’re on the verge on going bad. They’re perfectly edible but have lost some flavor and firmness, so they taste subpar. Last summer, when my pints were beginning to go, I stumbled across this recipe for blistered tomatoes and capers. It’s perfect for just this situation: It doesn’t matter if they start out slightly soft and wrinkled because that’s how you want them to end up anyway. And searing them with high heat concentrates and deepens the tomato’s flavors!

Credit: Brie Passano

A Multi-Purpose Recipe for Late August

What I also love about this recipe is that it carries me from summer into fall. As the weather starts to turn and I begin craving warmer dishes, these cooked tomatoes are just right. They get extra sweet in the skillet, and a touch of honey and butter rounds this sweetness out. Add a small handful of salty capers for contrast, and it’s something truly special.

But the best part, honestly, is that it takes no more than five minutes to come together. And it’s something I make well into the winter, too: This recipe bolsters ho-hum pints of grocery-store tomatoes, when I am desperate for a taste of summer.

There’s no end to what you can do with blistered tomatoes. You can eat them straight out of the skillet as I do, but there are more civilized choices: Toss the tomatoes with pasta, mash them a little and pile them on toast, fold them into scrambled eggs, or serve them over grilled chicken, steak, or fish. So go ahead, buy a few more pints at the farmers market while you can. This recipe is here to help.