Tomato Season – it’s not over yet!
Nope. In fact it’s peak season and they are plentiful. So hurry down to your nearest farmers market and take advantage of this gem of the season.
Surely your summer has already been chock full of tomato salads, tomatoes-with-mozerella, burgers with fresh slices of tomato and other raw forms of the fruit. But now’s a good time for canning tomatoes, making tomato sauces and other tomato ragus that can either be canned or frozen.
So here’s a roundup of what’s available now and some ideas about how to use them…
Traditional Vine-Ripened Round Tomatoes
The old stand by – available year round – great for any fresh salad but also for sauces because they are so juicy. They make excellent “containers” for stuffing too (like the traditional southern French summer dish “tomates farcies”) – especially the larger, fleshier ones.
“Coeur de boeuf” in French – (these are my all time favorites) so delicious, heavy, dense, just full of flavor. Of course they are perfect in salads of all kinds, or simply sliced and served with a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt. They can also be sliced and sauteed briefly with garlic and/or herbs for a warm side dish.
Plum Tomatoes (Roma Tomatoes)
Less juicy than their round counterparts, these are perfect for tarts or pizzas (no wonder they're called Roma!). They make a great base for sauces and they too can be served up raw in a salad.
Cherry Tomatoes/Grape Tomatoes
Everyone’s favorite, the cherry tomato – so easy to pop in your mouth any time, great for snacking, salads, hors-d’oeuvres... Try adding them to your next fruit salad for a surprisingly delicious twist!
Multi-Colored Heirloom Tomatoes
These wonderful heirloom tomatoes come in various shapes, sizes and colors which make for some beautiful salads – purple, yellow, even black! These organic tomatoes are delicious and I encourage you to try them and compare them with commercially grown tomatoes. The term “heirloom” means they are grown from seeds that have been passed down for generations for their valued characteristics. They are genetically unique and have developed over time a resistance to pests and diseases. Look for them at your local farmers markets!
So enjoy your tomatoes while they are at their best. Check your local newspapers for farmers markets locations and hours of operation.
But whatever you do, remember – don’t put these jewels in the refrigerator! It will knock the flavor (and texture) right out of them!