Try these tasty summer tomato recipes

Helen Best-Shaw

Fresh ripe summer tomatoes are so delicious I indulge as much as possible when they’re in season. They’re so much sweeter and tastier than the flavourless, watery offerings at other times of year that I enjoy them every way imaginable from a handful of cherry tomatoes as a delicious natural sweet to salads, or cooking with them in recipes such as these

Tomatoes really benefit from not being kept in the fridge. Chilling them really dulls the flavour; I think it’s much better to buy little and often, keep them on the countertop and use them in all my cooking. Here are some ideas for something other than a tomato/mozzarella/basil tricolore salad.

 

Tomato tea

First, a drink. Blend tomatoes in water and then strain, to give a clear liquid with an unmistakable tomato flavour. This would make a great surprise first course at a dinner party, or simply a refreshing drink to enjoy on its own or as the base for a cocktail.

 

Russian grandma’s pickled tomatoes

After saying that tomatoes are best enjoyed fresh, it seems odd to be championing a preservation method, but I love the idea of canning those delicious fresh flavours. Adding garlic, bay, parsley, dill and pepper will add some zing to the taste; the optional oak leaves sounds very interesting.

 

Southern tomato pie

From Russia to Southern US—Alabama, to be exact. A pie dish is lined with pastry, blind baked then filled with sliced tomatoes, chopped spring onions, basil, garlic and cheese, and baked into a delicious, oozy pie.

 

Pa Amb Tomaquet—Traditional Catalan tomato tapa recipe

A simple traditional tapa from Barcelona. A traditional Catalan dish that celebrates the flavour of fresh tomatoes. It's a bit like a Catalan bruschetta. The Spanish call it pan con tomate, but this is definitely Catalan rather than Spanish. Use the best tomatoes, olive oil and bread that you can.

 

Balsamic Roasted Tomato, Baby Spinach & Giant Couscous Salad

Cous cous—small balls of semolina pasta—are an excellent base for a filling summer salad. This recipe adds the rich and concentrated flavours of oven roasted tomatoes, and green spinach for colour and flavour. I can see this being a real picnic favourite.

 

Cherry Tomato and Pesto Mini Galette

A fun mix between classic French and Italian cuisine. This savoury galette is filled with colourful cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and homemade basil pesto. I love the different colours from the different tomato varieties. Make smaller galettes as individual starters, or a larger version for sharing as a main course.

 

Cherry Tomato and Olive Basil Pasta

A filling dish in 20 minutes from start to finish sounds good to me. This is a simple cherry tomatoes olives and basil pasta. But simple doesn’t mean boring: full of rich flavours, it’s a great sounding recipe for a quick and nutritious meal in a hurry.  

 

Roasted Tomatoes Recipe

Roasting tomatoes really concentrates the flavour, and brings out the sweetness. Versatile, too: you can use the roasted tomatoes as the basis for a simple pasta sauce, soup, pizza, bruschetta or add to a salad. 

 

Roasted Tomato & Red Pepper Soup

A saucepan-free soup that’s easy one to throw together in a hurry. The ingredients are simply roasted on a baking tray, tipped straight into a blender or food processor with hot stock, and voilà—pour into bowls and serve immediately.

 

Mixed Tomato Salad with Tomato Salad Dressing

Double denim might be a crime against fashion, but double tomatoes are definitely not a crime against food. I love a simple tomato salad, taking the freshest, ripest and tastiest fruit, straight from the plant if possible, and just slicing and adding a little dressing. Here, we’re layering the flavours by making a tomato dressing as well. Double delight!

 

Helen Best-Shaw, is a freelance food & travel writer, recipe developer & photographer. She has been blogging at Fuss Free Flavours for over 10 years.

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