10 Easy, Amazing Ideas for Tomatoes
Photo: Jannah Eilanie Szeibert
Blackening isn't just a technique that works well with chicken or fish. Dipping anything—in this case, sliced tomatoes that you've patted dry—in a mixture of Cajun spices, then cooking it in a hot cast-iron skillet is an amazing way to add heat and crunch. In this recipe from Roberto's New Vegan Cooking, by Roberto Martin, the blackened tomatoes are matched with light, bright cucumber, mint and fennel.
Get the recipe: Blackened Plum Tomatoes Over Cucumber and Fennel Salad
Photo: Tara Fisher
This easy-breezy recipe reminds us of a deep-dish pizza, but instead of using a traditional crust, you use polenta (Italian cornmeal). Once you've whisked it with butter and stock and cooked it in a skillet, you scatter sliced mushrooms (any kind), crumbled feta and a hodgepodge of sliced and whole cherry tomatoes, which give the dish a nicely imperfect look. Slip it under the broiler so everything melts and the tomatoes slump, then toss a handful of arugula on top and your dinner is served.
Get the recipe: Polenta Bake with Tomato, Feta and Mushrooms
Photo: Johnny Miller
Tomatoes can make wonderful vessels for stuffing; just look for ones that are big and round, not oval (bonus: round beefsteak tomatoes have a sweeter flavor than ones that are more oblong-shaped). This deceptively simple recipe has you cook Italian sausage, corn kernels and the insides of the tomatoes, then mix them with cubes of baguette and shredded mozzarella. You fill each tomato with the mixture and bake until golden and bubbling. The tomatoes will gently come apart as you eat, so each bite will have plenty of their bright flavor.
Get the recipe: Stuffed Tomatoes with Sausage and Corn
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Think of this lunch or brunch essential as a cross between a pizza and a fruit pie. You pile a savory mixture of baby pear tomatoes (which, like tiny pears, have narrow necks and a wide, round base), onions and celery into a crust, and then lay strips of dough over the filling in a crisscross pattern. The finished dish is mellow and just a little sweet, and tastes delicious hot, room temperature or cold.
Get the recipe: Tomato Pie
Photo: Victoria Pearson
This recipe, from Sheryl Crow's personal chef Chuck White, is a play on the traditional BLT, without the bread. Fried tomato slices act as bookends, and, in between, roasted-garlic aioli acts as mayo, pancetta as bacon and spinach as lettuce.
Get the recipe: Fried Green Tomato BLT
Photo: Mikkel Vang
This simple gazpacho is a wonderful way to highlight the acidity, sweetness and juiciness of those weird/beautiful-looking farm-stand classics. It's a great busy-day dinner, too, since you can make it ahead of time—the longer it sits in the fridge, the better it'll taste.
Get the recipe: Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho
Photo: Lisa Hubbard/Photolibrary/Getty Images
With fewer seed compartments, and more solid content than their round counterparts, torpedo-shaped plum tomatoes are ideal for making pasta sauce. The San Marzano variety is the Rolls-Royce of plum tomatoes, but any ripe variety will work in this easy sauce.
Get the recipe: Fresh Roma Tomato Sauce
Photo: Guy Ambrosino
Photo: Sang An
Here's all you need to make this perfect summer lunch: Thick slices of tomato, good bread, mayonnaise, salt and a little black pepper. That's it. Take a big bite, then another, and remember this moment in January.
Get the recipe: Tomato Sandwich
Photo: Quentin Bacon
Chef Michelle Bernstein created this fresh tomato relish—which has a rich flavor and hearty texture (read: not watery)—to complement juicy pork tenderloin with parsley-cilantro sauce. But it's also terrific with hamburgers, hot dogs or roasted chicken. One more way we love it: spread on top of bread or pizza dough as a stand-in for marinara sauce.
Get the recipe: Tomato Relish
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