Tomatoes are one of my favorite recipes to utilize when they are at their peak during summer months. They are delicious in anything from no-cook sandwiches (when it’s too hot to turn on the oven) to light salads with creamy burrata. Pair perfectly with roast chicken or grilled steak for a complete al fresco dinner. I stretch tomatoes at their peak by turning them in to sauces for pasta or slowly cooking them in oil to retain their sweetness.
Tomatoes are in season from May to October. While they are best fresh, many varieties are kept in refrigerators and sold throughout the year. New Jersey, where I grew up is known as the “garden state” for a reason. Fresh, juicy tomatoes in all shapes and sizes are sold at farm stands throughout the state.
With their superior flavor, heirloom tomatoes come from seeds passed down and are typically at least 50 years old. Look for a variety of colors. If you like heirloom tomatoes check out these other recipes here. In fact, I always recommend salting tomatoes or marinating them before adding them to sandwiches.
Cherry tomatoes are a small, juicy variety of tomato with a thicker skin. They are also much sweeter than other varieties of tomatoes.
They are one of the largest varieties of tomato, perfect size for the smashed burger patties. They also have numerous small seed compartments distributed throughout the tomato making them juicy but not watery.
Green tomatoes are actually unripe tomatoes! They are picked early and are much more firm and dense than ripe tomatoes and also have a tangy flavor. Sometimes they are picked before they ripen. However, many green tomatoes are ones that did not ripen by the end of the season. Green tomatoes have a slightly tart, acidic flavor. Their firm, almost crisp texture is often compared to green apples. Since they aren’t juicy like other tomatoes, they are perfect for frying.
Use fresh, ripe heirloom tomatoes, good-quality extra-virgin olive oil and aged balsamic if possible.
Diced tomatoes marinated in an olive oil and balsamic mixture served over crostini.
I like to think of this as “naked bruschetta ” because the cherry tomatoes are so juicy and flavorful you don’t need any other flavors, they just enhance the flavors that are already there.
Caprese sandwich with ciabatta bread with fresh pesto, sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, heirloom tomatoes and sweet balsamic glaze.
Slices of sweet peaches paired with juicy ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and crispy, salty broiled prosciutto over wild arugula with a fresh basil vinaigrette.
For this summer pasta, bacon is cooked in a pan and then the rendered bacon fat is used as a flavorful and rich base which is then emulsified into the cream sauce packed with sweet corn kernels and heirloom tomatoes.
This summery salad is filled with grilled chicken thighs, squash and tomato with herby basil vinaigrette topped off with creamy burrata over a bed of lettuce.
Juice from salted tomatoes is whisked into a simple vinaigrette of white wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, Dijon mustard and red pepper flakes and then served with tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and shaved zucchini in this Tuscan-style salad.
This salad combines some of my favorite ingredients into one dish: sliced heirloom tomato – a fresh and vibrant summer staple – blends well with salty prosciutto, creamy burrata and crusty grilled bread.
The reasoning behind the name of this retro-inspired salad is fairly self-explanatory – a head of crisp iceberg lettuce is cut into quarters or wedges and then topped with a homemade creamy buttermilk herb dressing, crumbled bacon bits, tomatoes and blue cheese.
I’ve stepped up this classic recipe of a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich with the addition of spicy mayo, spread on the toasted bread, and slices of creamy avocado.
Hatch peppers are in season starting in August through the end of September and their short seasonality leads to high demand meaning that I have to take advantage of the availability of these coveted peppers while I can. This cream cheese pairs so well with juicy tomatoes on a good NY bagel.
This version of risotto is filled with cherry tomatoes and garlic slowly simmered in olive oil. As the tomatoes cook and break down, the oil is similarly flavored.
This chewy thin crust pizza is served topped with sweet and caramelized cherry tomatoes, roasted garlic, creamy burrata and then garnished with basil.
In this creamy pasta, onions and garlic are sautéed in bacon fat and served with red pepper flakes, fresh chopped tomatoes, creme fraiche and salty bacon tossed with wide, flat pappardelle noodles.
I like this burger because it has a balance of spice from the chorizo, creaminess from the goat cheese, sweet from the tomato chow chow and acid from the pickled pepperoncini.
Slices of green tomato are tossed in buttermilk and fried in a flour and cornmeal batter to crunchy golden-brown perfection and then paired with the Southern favorite, Mississippi “comeback sauce”.
Add the white beans and cooked guanciale, tossing to combine. Toss the mixture with half the vinaigrette and then cook for an additional minute.
I love pico de gallo because it is typically a very mild salsa and it is made with all fresh ingredients.
The slices of tomato pair perfectly with creamy burrata, slices of avocado, grilled bread, and watercress for a fresh summer appetizer.
Summer heirloom tomatoes paired with caramelized onions and ricotta cheese wrapped in pastry dough for a savory pie.