This fresh tomato tart is laden with slices of summer tomato—preferably heirloom—on an herbed crust topped with creamy goat cheese and finished with a pesto vinaigrette. Elegant and impressive yet (shhhhh!) really quite easy.
Whether you’ve got a garden full of tomatoes, or you’re carefully selecting the best ones at the market, there are a few things to consider. Perfectly ripe tomatoes are brightly colored, blemish-free, and fragrant when sniffed. They’re firm and heavy for their size, but should yield slightly when gently squeezed. For more details, read the full article How to Tell if a Tomato is Perfectly Ripe.
How should tomatoes be stored?
Tomatoes should be stored at room temperature on the counter in an open container lined with paper towels. Keep them out of direct sunlight. Never store whole tomatoes in the refrigerator.
If your tomatoes are fully ripe, store them stem side down, and use within a day or two.
If your tomatoes are not fully ripe yet, store them in a single layer in the container until they are ripe, up to a week.
What are the best uses for various types of tomatoes?
If you’ve got juicy, ripe, fresh tomatoes, you can’t really go wrong, but some varieties are better suited to particular recipes.
Roma or plum tomatoes are meaty, with lower water and seed content, so they are better suited to making tomato paste and sauces.
Cherry and grape tomatoes are the most versatile, stand up well to cooking, and can be used in almost any recipe. Their smaller size makes them quicker to roast or dry. They also make a great portable snack.
Beefsteak tomatoes are juicy, with plenty of flesh, making them ideal for salsa. Their excellent flavor makes them terrific for slicing atop burgers (or even standing in for the burger patty).
Using a variety of tomatoes in this cold tomato soup is what we usually do but if you have only one kind on hand, go for it. The feta and olives add the extra salt needed to bring out the pure tomato flavor.
These roasted cherry tomatoes with herbs are made by baking cherry tomatoes with olive oil and Italian seasoning. An easy recipe that’s wonderful with pasta, sandwiches, pizza, or simply spooned up straight from the baking sheet.
Homemade tomato paste is surprisingly easy to make at home and a great way to use up lots of tomatoes. All you need are tomatoes, salt, olive oil, a food mill, and a flair for classic Italian goodness.
After browning some sausage, the tortellini go directly into the same pan with some water. Once the pasta is tender, cherry tomatoes join the party and soften into a makeshift sauce. A shower of fresh basil makes this pantry meal feel a little fresher and more aromatic.
This fire roasted salsa is made with charred tomatoes and onions and, just for complexity and to ensure the salsa is sufficiently smoky, a smidgen of chipotle in adobo. Great for dunking, dipping, and dabbling.
This summer tomato pasta with basil is made with a handful of pantry staples, including fresh tomatoes, spaghetti or bucatini, and plenty of grated Parmesan. A fast, easy, no-fuss summer meal that's on the table in just 30 minutes.
Who can resist fried green tomatoes–slices of succulent unripe tomatoes dipped in egg and dredged in cornmeal and then fried to a crisp golden brown? Add some Creole remoulade and, well, no one can resist!
This tomato soup is spiced with saffron, which has enough flavor to stand up to the Gruyère in the croutons. And the whole thing is awfully easy to put together, beating out anything from a can, anyday.
This tomato watermelon feta salad combines a couple of your summer musts in a single and simple format that’s portable enough for lunch on the go or picnics when made in a jar or can simply be tossed together in a bowl and reveled in it at home.
Rigatoni with sweet tomatoes, eggplant, and mozzarella is a deceptively easy pasta dinner that tastes much more difficult. Cheesy and filled with silky eggplant, tomatoes, and cream, it also bakes into a magnificent casserole.
Thank you, great, informative article. I grew up in the pizza capital of the world, Waterbury, Conn. In school at Notre Dame Academy, the nuns would sometimes buy local pizza for us at lunch. Bacco’s pizza with tomato sauce. No cheese, no nothing. It was fabulous.
That does sound fabulous, Mary. It just goes to show when you have good quality ingredients, often simple and unadorned is the best.