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Jul 21, 2007 09:00 AM

Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Tomatoes . . .

The farm stands are bursting with hundreds of varieties in all sizes and colors. One of my favorite dishes -- one that fairly shouts, "It's summer!!" -- is a plate of assorted, sliced heirloom tomatoes, sprinkled with a little kosher salt. It's fun to do a "tomato tasting" -- not unlike a wine tasting -- comparing the attributes of one tomato variety with another.

But I'd love some ideas for other uses for this summer's bounty. For example, do you have a great recipe for a fresh tomato sauce for pasta? What about salsas that allow the tomatoes to take center stage? How else do you use fresh tomatoes?

I'm heading to the farm stand right NOW!

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    1. Marcella Hazan has a series of three tomato sauces that are superb with fresh tomatoes.

      1. If you really do get a lot of tomatoes, take 5 pounds or so and reduce them to 1.5 cups of wonderful tomato conserva: (You'll need to scroll down to the middle of the linked page to see the relevant article.)

        1. Panzanella! I like mine simple: heirloom tomatoes, the mandatory day-old crusty bread, cucumber (peeled, for me), verrry thinly sliced onion, garlic, olive oil, basil, and the best red wine vinegar I can find (cobram estate shiraz caberbet is a current favorite).

          I'm a fan of letting the bread soak up the tomato juices, but the fry-or-toast-the-bread variety (which I think Marcella Hazan does?) is good as well.

          1. I'm not much on tomatoes (and my Mom and sister both grow them). However, they LOVE this simple, but cool dish for fresh tomato's.

            Tomato, Onion & Cucumber in Italian Dressing,

            6 tomatoes, peeled & sliced
            1 onion, sliced
            2 cucumbers, sliced
            1/4 c. Italian dressing

            Combine all vegetables in salad bowl; add Italian dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

            1 Reply
            1. re: BamaLuver

              Funny, I do chopped tomatoes, chopped red onion, and TJ's Fat Free Balsamic Vinegarette, and refridgerate to marinate and marry.