Remember a few years ago, when tomato blight pretty much wiped out the harvest throughout the East Coast, and nary a Caprese salad was made the whole summer? This year is pretty much the opposite of that, tomato-wise. Our CSA box this week was loaded with six pounds of sweet red and yellow tomatoes, and apparently there are many more to come. Bring it, we say.
How to Store: Do not refrigerate tomatoes. We repeat: do not refrigerate tomatoes—keep them at room temperature. Refrigerating tomatoes damages the fruits’ membranes and their flavor-producing enzymes, rendering them mealy and tasteless. Fresh tomatoes stored in a bowl on the kitchen counter should keep for a few days to a week.
How to Cook: When tomatoes are at their peak, it feels like a shame not to eat them in their purest form: sliced, liberally drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with sea salt and a few torn basil leaves. But take advantage of this year's bumper crop to branch out a little: try slow-roasting plum tomatoes until they’re cooked down to their sweet, caramelized, tomatoey essence, or baking sliced heirloom tomatoes into a creamy, cheesy, corn-flecked pie. We promise you won't regret it.
What to Make:
An herb-flecked tomato jam is a delicious spread for homemade English muffins or as a topping for cheese and crackers.
Roasted Tomatoes [David Lebovitz]
David Lebovitz suggests freezing slow-roasted tomatoes to add to pastas throughout the year. Or serve them as he does: draped over a garlic-rubbed slice of rustic bread, topped with crumbled feta and a smattering of fresh herbs.
Tomato and Corn Pie [Epicurious]
Inspired by recipes from both food writer Laurie Colwin and James Beard, this savory pie is made with a biscuit crust and lots of Cheddar.
Naked Tomato Sauce [Smitten Kitchen]
Yes, this recipe calls for peeling the tomatoes. But if you want a super-silky pasta sauce, that's kind of a given. The secret to this version from chef Scott Conant is adding a drizzle of herb- and garlic-infused oil after the tomatoes have broken down.
Tomato Chicharrones [JBF]
Crispy, salty, and utterly pork-free.
A juicy, perfectly ripe tomato is key to the success of the classic bread salad. This version, from Sara Jenkins, couldn't be simpler.