Tomayto or tomahto—whatever you call it, its burstingly juicy glory can't be denied. The fruit's signature blend of sweet, acidic and savory notes makes it one of summer's most versatile produce picks: Whether chopped in a salad, roasted for a pasta dish, squeezed into a cocktail or sliced for a sandwich, this bright beauty guarantees a pop of color and full-bodied flavor.

  • Lycopene, a chemical in tomatoes, may help prevent certain cancers, and adding fat (like olive oil) and heat may enable your body to absorb more of it.

  • Vine-ripened tomatoes are typically the juiciest and most flavorful. Look for them in the warmer months (when they're in season) at farmers' markets and specialty grocers; sometimes supermarket offerings are picked prematurely, then ripened with ethylene gas or in warming rooms.

  • For uniquely flavorful tomatoes, try heirloom varieties, which may come from seeds passed down through several generations and be grown the old-fashioned way. Their skins can be delicate, so don't squeeze to select—instead, ask the grower to pick the best ones for your needs.

  • Sundried tomatoes have a concentrated flavor that will up the umami factor in pastas, salads and sandwiches. Oil-packed varieties are soft and ready to eat.

    Want more stories like this delivered to your inbox? Sign up for the Food Newsletter!

    Next Story