Top Summer Tomato Recipes — Best of the Blogs
It’s not the cooler weather that fall brings. It’s not the shorter days. No, it’s the fact that fresh juicy tomatoes won’t be around much longer, and that has us down. A large number of Americans swear that the best tomatoes come from one state and one state only: New Jersey (many of those Americans also live in the state of New Jersey). And having the country’s best tomatoes might be some compensation for the seasonal problem. Better might be living on the West Coast and being able to make these recipes all year long.
But let’s not argue. Let’s instead check out the food blogs from around the country to find out what’s going on in Tomatoland, USA. And, now that we think about it, shouldn’t that be some kind of participating team at the London Olympics? Hmm, maybe we’re mixing metaphors here, getting the Games confused with the state fairs that are popping up from coast to coast about now. (Anyway, we are pretty sure we saw a corn-dog toss on TV the other night, with the Queen herself presenting a medal to the winner as Michelle Obama looked on.)
But back to the subject at hand: Tomatoes. Let the games begin:
Julia Child’s birthday is coming up (August 15; check this space), and we love her ratatouille recipe — the vegetable rich side dish filled with tomatoes, eggplant, and zucchini — and thank Cooking with Amy for calling it to our attention. As noted on Amy Sherman’s cooking blog, Random House is coming out with a new children’s book called Bon Appétit: The Delicious LIfe of Julia Child, by Jessie Hartland, which includes this recipe. Sherman also leads us to a very elegant — and we mean elegant (check out this photo in the following link!) — variation on classic ratatouille, called confit byaldo, from meister bi-coastal chef Thomas Keller.
A beautiful chopped summer salad is the way Garden of Eating pays tribute to our favorite summer vegetables. (Or is it a fruit? Did we ever get that straight?) We love this light, healthy plate because it lets up play in the herb garden, picking parsley and mint but also making the best use of other summer crops, like zucchini and cucumber. As the blog notes, you can get creative and, adding feta, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and basil.
Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Pasta is a wonderful twist on the classic caprese salad of just mozzarella, tomato, and basil. From The Novice Chef, the recipe adds fettuccine, for a meal that morphs into a light summer meal.
The Pioneer Woman (Georgia Pelligrini, famous for The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from my Frontier) has rustled up a hearty bread salad that uses the season’s beautiful heirlooms, plus those wonderful cherry tomatoes that always seem to burst with their own special kind of acid flavor.
In Jane Lear: Writing on Food and Travel, a former Gourmet editor doesn’t just present a recipe for scalloped fresh tomatoes — a dish usually associated with the South. Instead, she gives a complete history of famous food historians and writers, like legendary Edna Lewis, who had a fondness this baked concoction that perfectly combines the acidity of tomatoes with a sweet twist.
Laura Ferroni: Tasty Photos & Recipes, goes the other route with a recipe for green tomato chutney that uses tomatoes that are not yet ripe. Ferroni admits she didn’t always love green tomatoes, but once you taste this chutney, which will last all winter, you change your mind, like she did.
We admit we went to Iowa Girl Eats to see what someone living in the state with the most famous summer fair might have to say about tomatoes. But then we stumbled on her Santa Fe Summer BBQ Pizza and didn’t go much farther. This pizza from scratch is a gem, and — yeah — you need fresh cherry tomatoes to make it right.
Load up on farmstand tomatoes for all these great summer salad recipes!