There’s the bottle of ketchup in the fridge. A weightlifter’s load of canned tomatoes in the pantry—crushed and whole, of course. You’ve got your tomato paste, your bag of sun-dried, your jar of marinara, your jarred salsas and your canned tomato soups. You could survive a natural disaster with the amount of tomatoes in your house. In its preserved form, the tomato is your lifeblood, your fallback. A sauce injects limp pasta with life and tomato soup reinvigorates grilled cheese with just a dip. It graces the tops of our favorite pizzas and finds its way on top of our hotdogs. Tomato products—keyword: products—build the foundation of our kitchens and is one of the only products that we do not insist on freshness. And that’s fine, up until a certain point.
But when tomato season rolls around, close the pantry door and leave the fridge locked shut. The only red rolling around on your kitchen counter should be the real thing, the real tomato. We are done with tomato in its disguised form and ready to tear into a juicy one straight from the vine. Taken raw, they are acidic and juicy. Met with a simmering heat, it’s an entirely different ballgame.
Expand your fresh tomato repertoire with a series of healthy recipes, both cooked and uncooked.
The Uncooked: Just As Nature Intended
Stick your fork in a fresh, polychromatic Tomato Salad (above) with a simple balsamic and brown sugar dressing.
Ellie’s uses plum tomatoes in her peppery, blender-bound Tomato Salsa because they’re super meaty.
Top your next salad with Tomato Ginger Dressing, a zesty blend of both sun-dried and fresh tomatoes.
Embark on some hardcore dicing with Ellie’s Tomato, Cucumber and Red Pepper Relish as a light side or a colorful salad.
The Cooked: With a Zap of Heat
Ina roasts plum tomatoes in olive oil for her summery Roasted Tomato Basil Soup, which is chock-full of basil and made complete with a dollop of yogurt.
Got a grill? Paula’s Garlic Grilled Tomatoes are oozing with heated juices.
Bobby Deen’s Baked Green Tomatoes are a slimmer version of the fried southern classic that are still crunchy as ever.
Rachael’s Tomatoes Stuffed With Tabbouleh Salad make for a compact spin on a nourishing dish.
One stuffed tomato recipe just wasn’t enough. Alton’s version of Stuffed Tomatoes is jam-packed with a heartening trio of mushrooms, goat cheese and bread crumbs.
Sure, gazpacho goes down cold. But this Charred Tomato Gazpacho reels in a toasted flavor by grilling the tomatoes first.
More Tomato Recipes from our Family and Friends:
Cooking With Elise: Fresh Tomato Sauce
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Tomato Gazpacho Salsa
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Tomato Cobbler Anyone?
Virtually Homemade: Spaghetti With Tomatoes, Prosciutto and Fresh Corn
What’s Gaby Cooking: Chicken Kebabs With Romesco Sauce
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: Salmon Spaghetti With Plum Tomatoes and Avocado
Feed Me Phoebe: Roasted Fresh Tomato Puttanesca Sauce
Chez Us: Easy Tomato Tart
Made By Michelle: Tomato and Pesto Pizza
Ingredients, Inc.: Lighter Fried Green Tomatoes
Delicious Lean: Creamy Light Tuna Salad Stuffed Tomatoes
Daily*Dishin: Spicy Tomato-Tomatillo Chicken Tenders
From My Corner of Saratoga: Tomato Jam
Dishin & Dishes: Tomato Zucchini Frittata
And Love It Too: Roasted Garlic, Basil and Tomato Paleo Tart
Healthy Eats: The Fresh-for-Once Tomato
Sweet Life Bake: Pico de Gallo
Zaika Zabardast: Grilled Tofu and Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Sandwich
Thursday Night Dinner: Tomato and Watermelon Salad
Cooking Channel: How to Prepare Summer Tomatoes
FN Dish: Tomatoes Go Beyond Salads