While many of us are still enjoying some hot, sunny weather this month, kids are going back to school and the summer season is coming to an end. This means that some of the bounty of summer will soon be running out. I’ve stocked my freezer full of berries for the off-season, but some things – like tomatoes – are simply best when they are fresh. My tomato plants aren’t producing quite the bounty that they were a month ago, so I am taking care to make some of my favorite fresh tomato recipes while I still have great summer tomatoes to use in them.
You can never go wrong with Roasted Tomatoes with Olive Oil. This simple recipe has just two main ingredients – olive oil and tomatoes – and I make it at least once a week. It is a fantastic appetizer or snack, but if you have a loaf of good bread and some cheese laying around, you might find yourself eating it for dinner instead. It is also just about the easiest way to transform tomatoes from something good into something amazing!
Summer Tomato Gratin is a similar take on the basic roasted tomatoes, except these tomatoes are topped with a garlic Parmesan topping that allows this dish to stand on its own as a side or main dish – and makes it downright addictive. If you have multi-colored tomatoes, you dish will have an exceptionally festive look.
Tomato Tarte Tatin is a fun, savory twist on what is usually a sweet dessert. Small cherry tomatoes caramelize as they bake, with a layer of buttery puff pastry tucked on top of them. The tart is turned upside down to serve, so the pastry ends up on the bottom and the wonderfully flavorful tomatoes are on top.
I enjoy gazpacho, but Salmorejo is even more delicious. This cold Spanish tomato soup is a twist on Gazpacho, however it is made very creamy by the inclusion of bread and a generous dose of olive oil. You could try heating it up on a cool fall night, too, but it is very satisfying when served cold in hot weather. A big batch could easily last for several days in the fridge.
My Tomato and Garlic Bruschetta requires almost no cooking, so it really showcases fresh tomatoes tomatoes. This is a dish that I will whip up when entertaining or just enjoy as a snack on an afternoon when I’m staying in and watching a movie. You can plate the bruschetta up before serving for a more elegant presentation, or keep the tomatoes in a bowl and let your guests spoon them onto the toast on their own.
Parmesan Tomato Tarts are quick and easy to make, with just a few ingredients piled on a puff pastry base and great flavor. The finished dish is reminiscent of a pizza, but with far less effort. I usually cut these up into portions that are just two or three bites, as they make an excellent appetizer.
Feta and Tomato Focaccia features tomatoes and cheese on a homemade bread base. I always opt for a variety of heirloom tomatoes for this recipe, as it makes the bread so colorful! The bread can be served as a side dish for any main, but it can also be sliced to make sandwiches.
A Cherry Tomato Clafoutis is a surprisingly simple dish that has an elegant look to it, and is perfect if you’re looking for a way to serve up tomatoes that you probably haven’t tried before. Little cherries are baked in a savory custard, which is eggy, tender and a great showcase for them. This recipe doesn’t work as well with full sized tomatoes, as they release too much liquid into the custard as they bake, so be sure to pick cherry or grape tomatoes.
Finally, my Rainbow Heirloom Tomato Pie is a showstopper that every tomato-lover will enjoy. A buttery pie crust is packed with slices of tomatoes in every color of the rainbow – hence the name – which is topped with a cheesy mixture that melds into the tomatoes while the dish is baking. It’s fun to make and even more fun to serve, as each slice will reveal a different pattern of colors from the tomatoes inside.