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September 6, 2012

Someone recently asked me my favorite ways to savor the last bit of tomato season. I have to admit, when it comes to tomatoes, I’m a bit of a snob. I absolutely love fresh tomatoes and eat as many as I can when they’re in season because I typically avoid them the rest of the year. I’ll occasionally buy pints of cherry tomatoes in the winter but other than that, I steer clear (I like campanaro brand tomatoes which are widely available at supermarkets). Tomatoes should be bursting with flavor and color not bland, mushy and tasteless.

So, given that philosophy, I’m a minimalist when it comes to tomatoes. The simpler, the better. Below are some of my favorite tomato recipes, if you can even call them that.

Clockwise from upper left.

Bruschetta: toast (or grill) slices of good, crusty bread. Cut a clove of garlic in half and rub on the toasted bread then drizzle with good olive oil. Dice tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Combine tomatoes in a bowl with some shredded fresh basil. If you like, drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Spoon onto toasted bread.

The Simplest: slice heirloom or other large tomatoes into thick slices. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a drizzle of good olive oil or place on top of mixed greens tossed with vinaigrette.

Quick Fresh Tomato Sauce: bring a pot of water to a boil for pasta and cook according to directions on package. Meanwhile, mince some garlic and dice tomatoes. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a saute pan. Add garlic and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook for a minute or two to warm through. Mix with hot pasta and serve with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Some fresh basil doesn’t hurt either.

Tomato and Avocado Salad: dice tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Small dice red onion. Medium dice an avocado. Combine in a bowl with a generous amount of vinaigrette.

And of course, Corn and Tomato Salad.

Happy tomato eating!

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