Tomatoes are overflowing at the farmers markets, grocery stores and maybe even from your own garden right now as they peak with ripeness. Before you contemplate tossing them or passing them off to a neighbor, I have a few ideas of ways you can use them.
When tomatoes are in their prime, you don’t even need to do anything fancy with them. Drizzle the slice with good quality olive oil, kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. It’s heavenly. Honestly one of my favorite sensations is taking that first slice into a perfectly ripe tomato with a sharp knife. It glides through like butter! Before the season for tomatoes is over, here are 19 ways for you to enjoy this plump, juicy, sweet produce. Comment below with your other suggestions for using tomatoes at their peak!
Simple is Best
When tomatoes are perfectly ripe and fresh, they often don’t need complex ingredients or cooking techniques. What about a simple caprese salad with mozzarella, olive oil and basil. (Don’t mess it up!) I’m on a huge burrata kick right now and this tomato-burrata salad with olives also sounds amazing. If you have some thick, nutty bread at home try a 1-minute tomato sandwich with just a few ingredients. Or chop stale bread (Yes, stale! It will soak up the sauce better!) bread up into cubes for a panzanella salad with colorful heirlooms.
It’s been incredibly rainy here in Indy this last week and it looks like the forecast is calling for a few more gloomy days. I have always wanted to make homemade tomato sauce for pasta and this could be the week. The thought of taking a couple of pounds of inexpensive, bruised tomatoes that may have been neglected at the farmers market and simmering them into a magical sauce sounds pretty rewarding to me. If you don’t have hours to spare, you can also make a quick sauce in about 20 minutes. Freeze any leftovers to use in the months to come!
Grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and mini heirloom tomatoes have a soft spot in my heart. They’re just so dang cute and they literally pop with flavor in your mouth. Use them for a BLT flatbread, a pesto and feta pasta salad or top with basil over a pan-seared steak. Slice them in half and create this warm gnocchi and heirloom tomato salad. I make a lot of veggie scrambles with these guys because they cook up so quickly. If nothing else, just rinse them and bring them with you as a snack!
Use a whole tomato as a vessel for dinner with these sausage, cheese and basil stuffed tomatoes. Splurge with real butter in this garlic basil chicken with tomato butter sauce recipe. When in doubt, Linguini with garlicky shrimp and fresh tomatoes is always a good idea. You can also toss your tomatoes on the grill right next to pork chops. In you’re in the mood for fish, this spicy sautéed tilapia with olives and cherry tomatoes could be a winner.
Let’s get Crazy
How impressive would you feel if you made bloody mary mix from scratch with fresh tomatoes? Upgrade your next meat and cheese platter with a bowl of this homemade tomato jam…apparently it’s life changing! Caution when making homemade salsa with roasted tomatoes… It’s not hard, but it certainly will make you rethink buy salsa from the store again. If you’re more of a guacamole fan, use your tomatoes in a homemade version.
Comment below with your favorite ways to use tomatoes in the summertime! I cannot wait to hear. The options are endless. If you make any of these recipes, I would love to see! You can tag me on Instagram with @Gourmet_Gab or Snapchat me @GourmetGab.
Love food. Love self. Love life.