Whether they're homegrown or fresh from the market, nothing beats ripe tomatoes in the summertime.
May 28, 2008
1 of 10Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner
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.
2 of 10Photo: Jan Smith
Cheese and Olive-Stuffed Tomatoes
Cheese and Olive-Stuffed Tomatoes Recipe 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.
3 of 10Photo: Leo Gong; Styling: Dan Brecker
Fresh Tomato and Basil Pasta
Fresh Tomato and Basil Pasta Recipe 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.
4 of 10Becky Luigart-Stayner; Lydia DeGaris-Pursell
Oven-Roasted Sea Bass with Couscous and Warm Tomato Vinaigrette
Creole Tomato Salad Recipe 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.
6 of 10Photo: Ralph Anderson; Styling: Lisa Powell Bailey
Tomato-Watermelon Sorbet Recipe 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.
7 of 10Becky Luigart-Stayner; Lydia DeGaris-Pursell
Fresh Tomato-Pesto Pizza
Fresh Tomato-Pesto Pizza Recipe 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.
8 of 10Emily Nathan
Bart's Ultimate BLT
Bart's Ultimate BLT Recipe 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.