Marinated Tomatoes Are The Delicious Way To Use Up Your Summer Produce

Summer is the season to enjoy juicy and colorful produce in all its warm weather glory. Whether you take time to plant your own fruits and vegetables or choose the best in-season produce from the nearest grocery store, you are probably enjoying your fair share of ripe, sweet tomatoes. Typically in season from the end of spring til mid-fall, fresh whole tomatoes are a delicious fruit that tend to crop up in abundance throughout summer. Several tomato varieties make their appearance at farm stands and markets, urging you to find new and creative ways to enjoy these vibrant foods.

If you're tired of eating tomato sandwiches or adding raw tomatoes to your next salad, try marinating these summer beauties for an additional dose of flavor and variety. Essentially, a marinade is a liquid solution composed of oil, vinegar (or another acid), and spices. Over time, the acid from vinegar breaks down food, which in this case, turns tomatoes extra soft and delicious. Marinated tomatoes can be served as a condiment alongside a number of your favorite meals or eaten on their own. The best part about marinating tomatoes is that there are more than a few ingredients you can use to personalize them.

How to make a delicious tomato marinade

Luckily, you can marinate all types of tomatoes including roma, beefsteak, heirloom, and cherry varieties. Just make sure you're cutting tomatoes into slices or chunks so your marinade can penetrate the inside.

While you can use any cooking oil, olive oil adds a distinct savoriness to marinated tomatoes. There are many different types of vinegar to choose from, so learn the differences before selecting a variety. If you want a more mild flavor, choose white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar. Those who prefer an extra punch of acidity might enjoy red wine or balsamic varieties.

Beyond oil and vinegar, feel free to get creative when choosing spices and herbs. Most tomato marinades include a decent amount of salt and pepper, and chopped parsley, basil, or thyme. To make the flavor pop, add freshly chopped red onion and garlic. Upon making your marinade, you're ready to add this flavorful liquid to fresh ripe tomatoes.

There are many unique and delicious ways to serve marinated tomatoes

Once fresh tomatoes are washed and cut, gently toss them in your marinade. To keep tomatoes from softening too quickly, be judicious with the amount of marinade — you can always use more as dressing for extra flavor when serving. Aim to marinate tomatoes for at least two hours. For a more noticeable flavor, try marinating tomatoes 24 hours in advance. Just bring them to room temperature before serving.

Once they're ready, spruce up your morning avocado toast or create a marinated tomato eggs benny. For lunch or dinner, add fresh basil and turn these bright red fruits into a simple marinated tomato basil salad, or add some fresh mozzarella for a take on caprese salad. Or, serve alongside some grilled chicken and you have an easy summer meal.

Marinated tomatoes are also delicious as part of a charcuterie board. Serve these flavor bombs alongside your favorite cheese selection, olives, and DIY crackers or crostini. Delicious any time of the day, marinated tomatoes are a reliable and flavorful way to use up your summer produce.