Tomatoes of all colors and sizes overflow farmers’ market stands and gardens in the heat of summer. All this abundance begs the question, what to make with this juicy, ripe fruit?
The options are endless, but I’m drawn to simple and fresh dishes where tomatoes are the star. In an attempt to keep the oven off this summer, these recipes are either served fresh, grilled, or quickly cooked on the stovetop.
There are multiple types of tomatoes but I’m focusing on the few listed below.
Cherry tomatoes: are used for salads, snacking, and quick stovetop meals. Bursting with juice and small enough to be eaten whole, Cherry tomatoes are a summer must-have.
Roma (also known as Plum tomatoes): are larger than Cherry tomatoes and oval in shape. They are sweet and juicy with a firm flesh. These tomatoes are great for making salsa and relishes or cooked on the stove for sauce.
Heirloom tomatoes: are tomatoes whose seeds have been saved from generation to generation. They have a more intense flavor than hybrid tomatoes but also a shorter shelf life. Slice for sandwiches or salads and let them shine.
Beefsteak tomatoes: are large tomatoes that work well for a variety of purposes. Juicy and sturdy, these tomatoes are often used for slicing or for making tomato sauces. These are great all-purpose tomatoes.
Here are a few tomato picking and storing tips and tricks so you can make the most out of the season:
- When looking for tomatoes, pick ones that feel heavy for their size, have a taut skin, and give slightly when pressed.
- Store tomatoes at room temperature for the best flavor.
- Refrigerate leftover sliced tomatoes for up to three days and bring to room temperature before serving.
Now that you know all you need to about tomatoes, let's dive into these mouthwatering recipes.
BLT Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
I’m always on the lookout for salads to serve for dinner. This salad hits all my favorite summer flavors. Heirloom tomatoes, green beans, corn, and bacon served over lettuce and a quick buttermilk dressing. If heirloom slicing tomatoes aren’t available feel free to substitute with Beefsteak tomatoes.
White Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad
The garlic infused oil is blended with lemon, anchovies, Parmesan, and herbs to make the dressing for this easy salad. Feel free to omit the anchovies for a vegetarian option.
Cherry Tomato Orzo Salad
This cold pasta salad is loaded with tomatoes, cucumbers, oregano and feta. Any small pasta would work for this dish. It's easy to make and feeds a crowd!
Grilled Shrimp With Tomato Olive Salsa
Using two pounds of Roma tomatoes, this quick shrimp dish gives traditional Mexican salsa an Italian twist. If you don’t mind the skin on the tomatoes, then go ahead and skip blanching before chopping.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
Roma tomatoes are a great option for making this easy condiment. Store for a week in the refrigerator or three months in the freezer.
Roma tomatoes are usually used to make this cold tomato soup. This version adds bell peppers, Worchestire sauce, and Tobasco for an extra pop of flavor. Chill overnight before serving.
Grilled Cheese BLT
Upgrade the BLT by toasting and melting cheese on sourdough before removing from the skillet and assembling with Beefsteak tomatoes, lettuce, and bacon. Dinner is ready in 20 minutes!
Italian Skillet Chicken with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Onions
Quick skillet dinners make summer dinners a breeze. Marinate the chicken ahead of time and either freeze as directed or leave in the refrigerator overnight. The Cherry tomatoes and spinach require zero prep and this dinner is on the table in 40 minutes.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
Avocado Heirloom Tomato Salad
Looking for an easy lunch? This one serving salad is visually appealing and takes only five minutes to make. Of course, if in the mood to share, scale up and serve for a first course or simple appetizer.
Sturdy Beefsteak tomatoes are seeded and then grilled over high heat with olive oil and a touch of basil. Serve with a crusty loaf of bread or use in a summer salad, such as Arugula Salad with Tomatoes, Corn, and Burrata.
Caprese Salad With Tomatoes, Basil, and Mozzarella
Caprese salad is what tomato season is made for. The simple layering of sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, and olive oil is begging to be eaten immediately. Buy juicy heirloom tomatoes, Buffalo milk mozzarella, and a good bottle of olive oil for the best results.
Mozzarella and Basil Stuffed Tomatoes
These vegetarian stuffed tomatoes can be enjoyed as a light lunch or a summer side to any grilled meat. Basil, garlic, mozzarella, and Parmesan are the perfect pairings for summer's favorite fruit.