Whether they're homegrown or fresh from the market, nothing beats ripe tomatoes in the summertime.
Red, Ripe, and Ready to Eat
A single plant can produce over a dozen tomatoes, which means you can give a basket to the neighbors and still pack almost
every meal with the nutrient-rich fruit. Serve them in pasta, pizza, vinaigrettes, and even desserts. Paired with the right
spices, tomatoes can be sweet, tangy, or tart foils to the other ingredients.
Cheese and Olive-Stuffed Tomatoes
Sometimes the best way to enjoy fresh produce is to free it from heavy sauces or other flavor-masking extras. Serve a Mediterranean-inspired
side packed with feta, olives, and a little basil. It's a great complement to any hot-off-the-grill entrée, or add a little
chopped chicken to the mix and serve on its own. Use sturdy, ripe tomatoes for optimal flavor and presentation.
When the temperature climbs, dinner cravings often tend toward light and simple. Make a pasta dish that's packed with the
freshest of ingredients, including mozzarella, garlic, basil, and, of course, tomatoes. A little olive oil adds a punch of
flavor that rounds out the simple sauce.
Oven-Roasted Sea Bass with Couscous and Warm Tomato Vinaigrette
Fresh tomato chutneys and dressings add color and flavor to almost any meat. Try it with a firm, delicately-seasoned sea bass
for a refreshing summer dish. The warm vinaigrette dressing pairs well with fluffy couscous, so make extra and spread the
Tomato salad, often served with basil and fresh mozzarella, is a favorite in most homes, so try this New Orleans-style Creole
version. Fresh mint and sweet onions pair with ripe tomatoes to make a tasty base for the zesty red wine and Dijon mustard
vinaigrette. This salad is simple to make and a great dish for a neighborhood potluck.
Serve an inspired sorbet that calls for the juice of fresh tomatoes. Make this dessert when your tomatoes are at their ripest–the
sweetness of the fruit pairs perfectly with ripe watermelon. Keep the secret ingredient to yourself and see if your guests
can name it.
Update pizza night by exchanging the standard jarred tomato sauce for a bright 5-ingredient homemade pesto. Top a store-bought
crust with the pesto, then layer on chopped tomatoes, garlic, provolone, and a few sprinkles of basil.
While it's hard to beat the classic bacon, lettuce, and tomato combination (often served with a hint of mayonnaise on toasted
bread), this zesty interpretation will transform your grab-and-go sandwich lunch. Start with the best ingredients, including
ripe tomatoes, applewood-smoked bacon, and sourdough bread, and add a fragrant basil spread instead of plain mayo. You may
never buy regular mayo again.