Tips for Best Tomato Taste
Choose unblemished ripe tomatoes from a farmers’ market or your family garden. Heirloom varieties come in different flavors and colors—for example, yellow tomatoes are generally milder and less acidic; some types remain green when fully ripe. Never store tomatoes in the refrigerator; they’ll lose flavor and get mealy. To make peeling easier, core the tomato, then scrape the blade of a small paring knife over the skin to loosen it.
Halve ripe tomatoes lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the sheet in the oven on the lowest temperature (150 to 170 degrees) and let the tomatoes dry for 8 hours, until they’re shrunken but still a little plump. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 6 months. Keep reading for nine more ideas!
Tomato Salad with Tahini Dressing
Slice garden-ripe tomatoes (unpeeled) into thick slices; use an assortment of heirloom varieties for best taste and presentation. Thoroughly blend 2 tablespoons tahini, 2 tablespoons water and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice. Drizzle dressing over tomatoes.
No-Cook Tomato Sauce
This is a super fast, almost one-pot dish that’s ideal for the heat of summer when tomatoes are at their ripest. There’s nothing to it: Just fresh tomatoes, olive oil and basil. Perfect with whole-wheat spaghetti or as a bruschetta topping. Try this recipe today!
Easy Tomato Sauce
Peel and seed 6 ripe tomatoes; coarsely chop and transfer to a medium saucepan. Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. Bring tomatoes to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until you have a thick sauce, about 30 minutes. Add chopped fresh basil. Makes enough to sauce 4 servings of pasta.
Perfect Tomato Soup
This recipe from Chef Meg uses 2 pounds of ripe summer tomatoes; it’s creamy but contains no cream. Ask at your farmstand for less-expensive blemished tomatoes to use for this soup.
Summer Tomato Salad #1
Halve 1 pint of cherry tomatoes (red, yellow or mixed). Add 1 cup of ciliegine (mini fresh mozzarella balls). Add zest and juice of 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons good olive oil, sliced fresh basil and salt and pepper to taste.
Summer Tomato Salad #2
Halve 1 pint of cherry tomatoes (red, yellow or mixed). Peel, seed and dice 1 ripe avocado. Toss tomatoes and avocado with juice of 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons good olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Best Summer Tomato Sandwich
Toast 2 thick slices of whole-grain or sourdough bread; spread 1 slice with prepared hummus (plain or flavored), add thick slices of the best, ripest tomato you can find and top with the other slice of toasted bread. Enjoy—with a napkin.
Fresh Tomato Salsa
When tomatoes are in season, ditch the store-bought salsa and make your own! It’s easy: just chop tomatoes, green onion, garlic and peppers. Here’s how.
Grilled Chicken Stuffed with Tomato and Basil
For each serving, begin with a boneless, skinless chicken breast; use a knife to cut a deep pocket starting at the thickest edge (not all the way through). Open the chicken breast like a book; season with salt and pepper and layer two slices of ripe tomato and 3 or 4 large fresh basil leaves. Close the pocket and use toothpicks to secure; rub outside of chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill on medium heat until done, 8 to 10 minutes per side.
Bryn Mooth is extending her 20-year career in publishing as an independent journalist and copywriter. She shares seasonal recipes, kitchen techniques, healthy eating tips and food wisdom on her blog writes4food.com.
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What is your favorite way to eat tomatoes--aside from plain, that is?
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