For tomato lovers, there is no better time of year than late July through September. Also known has the heavenly tomato months (OK, I may have made that up), but it is when tomatoes are in season and taste the best. Yes, you can get them year round, but they don't have that incredible flavor that you get with heirloom and vine-ripened tomatoes.
Most tomatoes from the farmers' market really only need a sprinkle of good quality salt when they are perfectly ripe — anything more dilutes the lovely flavor of them. However, they can also be used in a variety of dishes that taste infinitely better when made with fresh tomatoes in season. When shopping, look for tomatoes that are firm but with a slight give and without blemishes or bruises. And please, do not commit the sin of refrigerating them. They should be kept at room temperature, otherwise they will turn mealy in the cold and lose their flavor.
Tomatoes are not only tasty but also incredibly healthy: They are full of the carotenoid lycopene, which has gotten a lot of press recently for its cancer-protecting properties. They are also a good source of vitamin C as well as vitamins A and B, fiber, iron, potassium, and phosphorus. So it's a great idea to load up on them while the season lasts.
To help you in this process, we came up with these fantastic tomato-focused recipes. Let us know what you think and if you have any go-to tomato recipes of your own!
I love the concept of standing in the kitchen and chatting with a friend while you're whipping up some culinary masterpiece...
— Nicole Campoy-Leffler
Summer isn't summer without fresh cherry tomatoes of all colors picked still-warm from the sun from my family's garden...
— Allison Beck
This is a slight variation on a salad served at the Pelican Club, a private dining room...
— Colman Andrews
In the same way many people love Italian food so much that a part of them wishes they had a vowel on the end of their names...
— Arthur Bovino
One of my favorite things about summer is the bounty of tomatoes that fills our farmers' markets and grocery stores...
— Jordan Pervere
Caprese salad is about as classic and simple as a dish can get, which is why presenting it in a less-than-expected way can add an extra special touch...
— Molly Aronica
Here's the thing — I've never been much of a fan of the Bloody Mary. To me, it just tastes like a cold, chunky, alcoholic tomato soup...
— Maryse Chevriere
An American classic, the BLT is a lunch-time staple...
— Tiffany Hoang
I love everything there is about tomatoes (I even eat them like apples). Everything, that is, except for sun-dried tomatoes...
— Yasmin Fahr