It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Yes, it’s tomato season and we couldn’t be more excited to share our favorite ways and recipes to enjoy summer’s best fruit – the tomato.
First of all, when the tomatoes are local, ripe, and in season, they don’t need much because they already taste great. There is nothing like a summer, fresh tomato and enjoying them plain is one of the best ways to savor them.
Ah, the art of minimalism at its best! To enjoy a tomato plain, you can slice the tomato in slices, sprinkle on some salt and pepper (maybe some basil?) and eat it like a pizza slice. Bonus points if you eat this over the sink because messes, ya know? Or if you’re real fancy, go crazy, plate those slices up, and break out the ol’ knife and fork!
2. Tomato Salad
Another way is to create a tomato salad. You can do this by slicing your tomatoes up into large cubes. Toss them with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and basil. It you would like, instead of using just olive oil, you can use 2 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar (we recommend red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar) to add some more acidity to your salad. Take a minimalist approach since the tomatoes taste so great and leave it here or you can also add in some riffable mix-ins to your salad.
- Mozzerella and Basil for a Caprese salad
- Watermelon and feta
- Feta, chopped toasted pistachios, and parsley
- Chopped Cucumbers, lime juice, and mint
3. Tomato Sandwich aka Tomato Toast
Alright, so we all are all well acquainted with the avocado toast but tomato toast is a sandwich you are going to want to make. First of all it is super simple, has a crispy gone soggy texture that is amazing, and uses tomatoes. What’s not to love?
It starts with toasted bread. Then spread some mayo, and slice some tomatoes thinly. Place the slices of tomato on top of the toast and garnish with some salt, pepper, chives or basil, and if you have it, some lemon zest. But seriously, go for the lemon zest. It doesn’t sound like much but trust us, it is so good and so simple. Below are some substitutions that we love to try out too:
- Substitute goat cheese for mayo
- Add a fried egg
- Add lettuce and bacon for a BLT
- Add some quick pickled shallots
- Add some mozzarella for a caprese toast
4. Tomato Pie
Similar to making a savory tart, a tomato pie is perfect for dinner or for brunch. Use a frozen pie crust to make this recipe easy and fast to put together. Quick note: I learned the hard way that this does not freeze well so sorry, not a make ahead recipe.
- 1 (8 oz) package of diced cooked ham
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 1 (9 in) frozen pie shell – not deep dish just regular
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 medium tomatoes, sliced
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- Salt and pepper
Step 1: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Saute ham and green onion in a non stick skillet until ham is browned
Step 2: Brush the bottom of the pie crust with dijon mustard or use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly. Sprinkle the pie crust with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Spoon the ham and green onion mixture over the mozzarella cheese and place a layer of tomato slices over the mixture.
Step 3: Beat egg and half and half together in a small bowl until blended together. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper as desired. Pour egg mixture over the tomatoes in pie and sprinkle evenly with basil and the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella.
Step 4: Bake on the lowest rack in the oven for 20 – 23 minutes (Life hack: put pie on top of a foil lined baking sheet in case of spills. Always be prepared, ya know?). Take out of the oven and cool for at least 20 minutes and cut in wedges to serve. Enjoy!
5. Corn Salad
This can be served as a side dish or as a condiment. But, it is perfect to bring to barbecues and summer soirees as it doesn’t need to be cooked, can marinate in dressing without getting wilted, and be served cold or at room temperature. It can also easily be doubled or tripled.
- 1 can of corn or kernels of 2 freshly cooked corn ears. (Bonus tip: It tastes great if the corn has been caramelized by grilling or by cooking in a non-stick skillet)
- 1 half of a red onion, finely diced
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved, or 2 medium tomatoes, cubed.
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 10 basil leaves (or more if you love basil), roughly chopped.
- 1/4 cup of queso fresco (optional)
In a large bowl, whisk together lime juice, salt, and olive oil until well blended. Add in corn and mix until corn is covered in vinaigrette. Add onion and mix. Then add tomatoes and avocado and gently mix the salad. Fold in basil and cheese if desired. Store in refrigerator or enjoy!
We hope these recipes encourage you to enjoy the wonderful tomatoes of the season. In Louisiana, we are so lucky that we have 2 tomato seasons and in between, we can get our Northern states’ tomatoes to enjoy! Savor the sweet fruit of summer and bon appetit!
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Stop by our garden center at 9401 Airline Highway, New Orleans, LA 70118 or call us at (504) 488-8887 to check our our fresh herbs and veggies to grow at your home.