The start of the tomato season finds my husband and me ticking off a list of the "must have" tomato dishes that we indulge in as long as tomato season lasts. The very first slicing tomatoes tend to be used as their name implies, sliced and arranged on a platter and simply dressed with salt and pepper, oil and vinegar, and basil or oregano. Once the craving for a simple tomato salad is satisfied then I start to adorn the sliced tomatoes with other goodies.
Here's a few of the variations that I remember from this season:
Sliced tomatoes with...
- buffalo mozzarella and basil with a dressing of balsamic or red wine vinegar and olive oil, aka Caprese salad
- topped with diced cucumber, diced sweet peppers, and halved cherry tomatoes with mint and/or basil and perhaps some capers and a simple oil and vinegar dressing and perhaps with some pomegranate molasses added to the dressing
- Caprese salad topped with the afore mentioned mixture
- Crumbled chevre, toasted pine nuts, and basil with a balsamic vinaigrette (capers are a good addition or substitution for the pine nuts)
- crumbled ricotta salata mixed with minced fresh herbs (parsley, basil, tarragon, thyme, chives - all or a selection) and a balsamic vinegar dressing
- chopped sweet red pepper and pomegranate arils with a pomegranate molasses dressing
Then there is the parade of recipes that I've collected or perfected (or still perfecting) over the years:
- Baked Eggs with Feta
- Eggplant and Lentil Stew with Pomegranate Molasses
- Seared Tuna and Tomato Tart with Caramelized Onions
- Tomato and Bread Salad (Panzanella) (Marcella Hazan's recipe from The Classic Italian Cookbook)
- Gazpacho My Way
- Grilled Eggplant Topped with Mozzarella and a Raw Tomato Sauce
- Tomatoes with a Crispy Sweet Pepper Breadcrumb Topping (sort of Provençal)
- Charred Tomato Salsa
- Tomato "Steaks"
- Roger Verge's Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes with Basil
I would say that that pretty much covers the fresh tomato feasts we've been enjoying the last couple of months and maybe the next couple of weeks. Next, I'm going to go over what I've been doing to preserve the tomatoes that we can't manage to eat fresh.
Do you have any tomato dishes that you must enjoy when the tomato crop comes in? Do share!