Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune
Tomatoes are a star ingredient in soups, salsas, bruschetta, panzanella, pasta and more, no matter the season. But tomatoes shine brightest during summer when they’re at their peak ripeness — and it doesn’t matter if you grew them in your garden or picked up a few at the farmer’s market or grocery store. Use those delicious, juicy and flavorful tomatoes for these 25 recipes.
Have tomatoes that are on their way out? Throw them into a savory pie. Blind baking the crust (a technique that requires baking the crust without the filling) ensures that the crust doesn't get soggy. Add in the sliced tomatoes and pimento cheese once the crust is baked.
No, not the movie with that cute little rat. This ratatouille is the southern French dish that consists of a mixture of summertime vegetables like eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, onion and tomatoes.
Fried green tomatoes are a staple in Southern cooking and the best use of underripe fruit. The dish is exactly what it sounds like: green tomatoes covered in cornmeal, fried in a skillet with oil. Green tomatoes are more firm and dense than their ripe counterparts, which guarantee they don’t get soggy during the frying process.
An ELT is like a BLT, except it uses eggs instead of bacon. It’s a welcome substitute if you’re vegetarian or someone that hates dealing with bacon grease. The perfectly cooked egg gives the sandwich a buttery element, while the crisp lettuce and fresh tomato keep things on the lighter side.
Few appetizers compare to bruschetta. Although the dish is simple, its admirable restraint lets the tomato flavor shine. This recipe takes it up a notch by incorporating white beans — a staple in Mediterranean cooking.
Skip store-bought ketchup and opt for a fresher variety by making your condiments from scratch. This recipe goes beyond canned tomatoes and instead incorporates ripe plum tomatoes mixed with shallots, smoky bacon, agave and other ingredients that will elevate the condiment.
This pasta dish comes together in less than 30 minutes. Orzo, a short-cut pasta, is served with shrimp and cherry tomatoes and tossed in a homemade vinaigrette to keep the dish light and refreshing for summer evenings.
These stuffed tomatoes have a few ingredients that are popular in a Mediterranean-based diet: tomatoes, Kalamata olives, couscous and olive oil. Make sure you thoroughly scoop out the inside of the tomatoes and drain them upside down to ensure that the couscous doesn’t get soggy from excess moisture.
Conch is a delicacy throughout South Florida and the Caribbean. Conch meat can be served in gumbos, fritters, salads and croquettes. Here, it’s served in a chowder with beefsteak tomatoes and marinara sauce. Shrimp or lobster are suitable swaps if you can’t find conch.
If tomatoes are the fruit of summer, gazpacho is the dish of the season. The cold soup, made from blending raw vegetables, is one of the most satisfying no-cook dishes to make on simmering summer days.
Perhaps no dish features tomatoes in their purest form better than this salad. Grape and cherry tomatoes are sliced in half and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Its bright colors and flavor will serve as a great side dish to hearty entrees like burgers and steak.
If you spent the summer growing tomatoes, try turning them into tomato preserves. It’s a type of fruit preserve made by slow simmering tomatoes, then mixing them with lemon juice, sugar and powdered pectin. Add the mixture to a mason jar and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to add it to a grilled cheese, eggs or whatever you fancy.
Baked tomatoes, a classic Southern dish, amplifies the sweetness of tomatoes by mixing them with brown sugar. The tomatoes and sugar are mixed with flour, eggs, and bread that, when baked, give the dish a creamy and crispy texture.
Tomatoes, basil and mozzarella cheese — also known as caprese — is a timeless combo. You can use the mashup of ingredients in a salad or sandwich but adding it to a skewer is equally effective, especially for entertaining. It’s perfect for warm days when you need a cold dish to break the heat.
Riding the caprese wave, this griddle-seared chicken is cooked to golden perfection and topped with fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and basil. Serve it as an easy weeknight dinner that the whole family will love.
Skip making bread crumbs and use leftover bread cubes in a salad. That’s the key to making panzanella, a chopped salad that originated in Italy and is typically made with tomatoes, cucumber and oil and vinegar. It’s the perfect way to finish off a loaf of bread.
If you missed this recipe when it went viral on TikTok, baked feta pasta is essentially a smattering of fresh tomatoes, feta cheese and spaghetti. This recipe takes a few liberties by incorporating shrimp into the dish.
If you have any leftover pita bread lying around your house, try making this fattoush salad. The pita is broiled for about two minutes, adding a crunchy texture to the salad, which is made with sliced green onions, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, olives and mint. It’s one of the best salad recipes for summer.
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