20 Days of Perfect Summer Tomatoes

Grilled Salmon with Melted Tomatoes
Photo: © John Kernick

Summer means many things, but one of the best is tomato season. Tomatoes picked at the height of summer are the most delicious, juiciest, plump red fruits you may ever come across. From cute, little cherry tomatoes to gorgeous, colorful heirlooms, you will never run out of varieties to cook with. And thanks to us, you will never run out of recipes. We dare you to cook with tomatoes every day for 20 days with incredible recipes like smoky tomato soup with gruyère toast, fried green tomato double cheeseburger and risotto-style penne with tomatoes and zucchini blossoms. We've got everything from no-cook recipes that honor tomatoes in their purest form to transformative recipes that push the boundaries of your imagination. As you scroll down the list, know that we are just as excited as you are for tomato season. Happy cooking! — Morgan Goldberg

01 of 20

Day 1: Uovo in Raviolo with Hand-Grated Tomato Sauce

Uovo in Raviolo with Hand-Grated-Tomato Sauce

This dish is just as much about the pasta as it is about the tomatoes. You can buy many kinds of stuffed and filled fresh pasta, but you won't find these oversize ricotta-and-egg-filled ravioli in a shop. That's why they're the ultimate filled pasta to make at home. The fresh, hand-grated tomato sauce, which you make using the large holes of a box grater, truly brings the dish together.

02 of 20

Day 2: Green Zebra Tomatoes with Tomato-Dashi Sorbet

Green Zebra Tomatoes with Tomato-Dashi Sorbet
Bobby Fisher

This recipe is truly an ode to this warm weather fruit in the most creative way. F&W Best New Chef 2017 Noah Sandoval, of Chicago's Oriole, highlights summer's sweetest tomatoes by serving them alongside a savory dashi-and-tomato-water-based sorbet. The dish is cold and refreshing — ideal for a hot summer day.

03 of 20

Day 3: Heirloom Tomatoes with Ricotta and Savory Granola

Heirloom Tomatoes with Ricotta and Savory Granola

If you needed a reminder, summer is prime time for juicy tomatoes. To dress up summer's very best, F&W's Justin Chapple combines them with lemony ricotta and savory granola for crunch to round out the dish. The granola, which combines toasty oats with pistachios and sunflower seeds, would also be fantastic in any green salad.

04 of 20

Day 4: Tomato, Haricots Verts and Potato Salad

Tomato, Haricots Verts and Potato Salad

This rustic Italian salad is a great way to showcase perfect, in-season produce. It's filled with plump cherry tomatoes, mixed baby potatoes and crunchy haricots verts. We think this salad is great for a picnic or a summer lunch by the pool. Enjoy it as your main or alongside your barbecue favorites.

05 of 20

Day 5: Fried Green Tomato Double Cheeseburger

Fried Green Tomato Double Cheeseburgers

Just because this is about tomatoes, doesn't mean it can't also be about burgers. "Anyone who loves a good burger has a soft spot for the Big Mac," says chef Edward Lee, of Louisville's Whiskey Dry. In his ode to the fast food classic, he swaps the middle bun for a crisp fried green tomato that absorbs all of the savory juices from the beef, melty cheese and sweet chile mayo. "More bread is just boring," he says. "The fried tomato adds crunch and a mild acidity."

06 of 20

Day 6: Marinated Feta with Nectarine and Tomato Fattoush

Marinated Feta with Nectarine and Tomato Fattoush

We love cold dishes like this on hot summer days. This recipe from Food & Wine's Justin Chapple is a fun riff on fattoush, the classic Middle Eastern bread salad. Chapple covers feta in olive oil and coriander seeds, then uses the marinade to dress nectarines, tomatoes and pita chips.

07 of 20

Day 7: Spinach-and-Ricotta-Stuffed Tomatoes with Piquillo Peppers

Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Tomatoes with Piquillo Peppers

At Commanderie de Peyrassol, the wonderful Provençal winery, chef Guillaume Delauné uses ingredients from his kitchen garden to make dishes like these excellent stuffed tomatoes. He uses a melon baller to scoop out the insides of the tomatoes, leaving a sturdy shell to hold the spinach-and-cheese filling. The accompanying sauce is made from the scooped-out tomato seeds and juices.

08 of 20

Day 8: Tomatoes with Herbs and Almond Vinaigrette

Tomatoes with Herbs and Almond Vinaigrette

New York City chef Dan Kluger makes a deeply flavorful vinaigrette for summer's sweetest and juiciest tomatoes. Instead of dry-roasting almonds for his salad, Kluger toasts them in olive oil until they're crisp and golden, then uses the richly flavored oil to make a tangy dressing. Talk about taking ingredients to the next level.

09 of 20

Day 9: Rye Crisps with Tomatoes and Sardines

Rye Crisps with Tomatoes and Sardines

This tasty snack recipe from Food & Wine's Justin Chapple makes the most of canned sardines. Chapple prepares a bright herb mayo to spread on rye crisps, then tops them with a cherry tomato salad and good-quality sardines. The juices from the tomatoes soften the rye crisps ever so slightly.

10 of 20

Day 10: Baked Eggs in Poblano Tomato Sauce

Mexican Baked Eggs

In our humble opinion, tomatoes for breakfast are extremely underrated — especially when paired with eggs. Those of you who have had it know that the shakshuka is truly a beautiful thing. This Mexican version uses fresh tomatoes as well as jarred tomato sauce to amp up the flavor in the simple and delicious breakfast bake.

11 of 20

Day 11: Quinoa Meatballs with Tomato Sauce and Tuscan Kale

Quinoa Meatballs with Tomato Sauce and Tuscan Kale

San Francisco chef Matthew Accarrino of Italian hotspot SPQR makes deliciously light meatballs with a combination of quinoa, Parmigiano and breadcrumbs. He bakes the meatballs before simmering them in a vibrant tomato sauce along with kale. The end result: a healthy and deeply satisfying take on a beloved Italian classic.

12 of 20

Day 12: Halibut in Parchment with Corn and Tomatoes

Halibut in Parchment with Corn and Tomatoes

Are you looking for a fresh, light summer weeknight meal? We've got you covered. Chef Kristen Kish keeps it simple by roasting halibut, corn, tomatoes and green beans all in one simple packet, allowing the flavors to merge into one delicious meal. If anything could taste like summer, this would be it.

13 of 20

Day 13: Grilled Tomato Salad with Mozzarella and Unagi Sauce

Grilled Tomato Salad with Mozzarella and Unagi Sauce

Everyone loves a good, fresh Caprese salad, but we've got something even better. Chicago chef Stephanie Izard makes the ultimate summer salad with a creamy version of sweet-salty Japanese unagi sauce, which is typically brushed over eel. The flavors are so indescribable you must try it to actualize the deliciousness.

14 of 20

Day 14: Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

Day 20: Squid with Burst Cherry Tomatoes

In summer, many people don't bother to cook tomatoes. But Tom Colicchio likes to see what flavors he can bring out. "I was just messing around with cherry tomatoes, and I decided to try cooking them low and slow, with garlic," he says. The result: extravagantly juicy tomatoes with amped-up flavor.

15 of 20

Day 15: Smoky Tomato Soup with Gruyère Toast

Day 21: Smoky Tomato Soup with Gruyère Toast

Mild Spanish smoked paprika — also called pimentón — gives dishes an appealing smokiness. Using the sweetest, ripest tomatoes in season, Melissa Rubel Jacobson makes a simple yet luscious soup flavored with smoked paprika and served with crunchy cheese toasts. You might just have to crank up the air conditioner and enjoy a hot bowl, no matter what the temperature is outside.

16 of 20

Day 16: Green Tomatoes with Pistachio Relish

Day 23: Green Tomatoes with Pistachio Relish

Relishes typically contain cooked and pickled vegetables; the one here is mouth-tinglingly tangy. James Syhabout of Oakland, California's Commis makes it by pickling shallots, capers, pistachios and pink peppercorns overnight in Champagne vinegar and olive oil. It's awesome on tomatoes and makes for a flavorful summer side dish for any barbecue.

17 of 20

Day 17: Beefsteak Tomato and Burrata Salad with Olive Streusel

Beefsteak Tomato and Burrata Salad with Olive Streusel

The crunchy, savory kalamata olive streusel that tops this salad from Bryan and Michael Voltaggio is our new condiment obsession. Toss it in your next kale salad, sprinkle over roasted root vegetables or use it to garnish steamed grains. If you can't find good beefsteak tomatoes for this dish, use the best greenhouse tomatoes you can get your hands on.

18 of 20

Day 18: Grilled Striped Bass with Indian-Spiced Tomato Salad

Day 26: Grilled Striped Bass with Indian-Spiced Tomato Salad

Chef Floyd Cardoz of Indian hotspot Paowalla in New York City is an avid fisherman. This summery grilled bass with ginger-spiced tomato salad is the ideal way to showcase a beautiful piece of fish and the season's absolute best produce. We aspire to make this for a delicious weeknight dinner.

19 of 20

Day 19: Preserved-Tomato Paccheri

Preserved Tomato Paccheri

Rather than make conventional tomato sauce, Missy Robbins, chef at Brooklyn's Lilia, uses her preserving skills to marinate tomatoes in a mix of garlic, spices, citrus and olive oil. The result is a supple, incredibly flavorful coating for the thick, tubular paccheri pasta. It's also versatile enough to match with red or white wine.

20 of 20

Day 20: Basic Tomato Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes

Basic Tomato Sauce from Fresh Tomatoes

It would be wrong to have a month of tomato recipes without a stellar one for classic tomato sauce. A good tomato sauce can truly transform a dish. Even a simple dry pasta can become an incredible meal when topped with a perfect tomato sauce. If you keep the tomato sauce simple, the deep flavors of summer tomatoes come through. Plus, a straightforward sauce is easier to transform — with a few additions, it can become anything from a Bloody Mary mix to a vegetable curry.

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