celebrating tomatoes: the stars of summer

While varieties of tomatoes are at their peak this time of year, every type has its own unique characteristics. Knowing the properties of each type of tomato...

By: Anna Decker / 08/02/2016

Cherry tomatoes These bite-sized beauties are great when you want a whole, juicy tomato either in a salad or to roast. Throw them under the broiler until they burst and their juices will transform into a sauce. One of our all-time favorite Marley Spoon recipes needs little more than some feta and crusty bread to make a super simple weeknight meal.

Baked Feta and Tomatoes with Olives and Oregano

baked feta and tomatoes with olives and oregano You’ll be surprised by how delicious and beautiful this dish is for how impossibly simple it is! All you have to do is tear crusty bread into bite-sized pieces and break up feta. Once that’s done, the ingredients get dumped into a baking dish and cook until the feta is soft and creamy, the tomatoes have burst into a sweet mess, and the bread is a deep golden.

Grape tomatoes Less juicy than cherry tomatoes, their flesh and flavor is more concentrated. Try roasting them for a tomato-forward dish that doesn’t require as much liquid. We use grape tomatoes as a great contrast to crispy oven fried chicken.

oven fried peanut chicken

oven fried peanut chicken with potato-tomato salad This dish is a tribute to a summertime picnic, where the food is no-fuss and still tastes wonderful. The delicious peanut-crusted chicken is just as juicy as classic fried chicken, but has a lot less grease. Scoring the thighs before popping them in the oven shortens the bake time, making this the perfect quick and hearty picnic meal.

Plum & Beefsteak Both varieties are best when they break down to become part of a sauce, but beefsteak in particular, because of it's perfect size and uniform shape, are also great stuffed!

White Bean Stuffed Tomatoes

white bean stuffed tomatoes with panko & parmesan Stuffed tomatoes with a crispy Parmesan topping make for a terrific vegetarian meal. You’ll use the tomato juices and insides to make a flavorful filling bulked up with creamy cannellini beans and tender couscous. Fresh oregano has an intense herbaceous perfume that pairs perfectly with the Mediterranean flavors of this dish.

Vine ripe tomatoes Also referred to as Campari tomatoes, this variety is noted for its juiciness, high sugar level, low acidity, and lack of mealiness. Vine ripe tomatoes are a deep red and larger than a cherry tomato, but smaller and rounder than a plum tomato. We love to simply slice them and half and roast, like in this super simple one-pan pork recipe.

Pork Chops with Yellow Pepper Puttanesca

pork chops with yellow pepper puttanesca Sometimes the most delicious meals are those that require the least amount of work. The oven is great for this very purpose. Bell peppers, tomatoes, olives, capers, and pork roast on one sheet, so the vegetables soften and brown to form a delicious sauce alongside the meat. Fresh basil is always best eaten raw, we added it at the very end to preserve its beautiful color.

Heirloom tomatoes Known as the diamonds of the tomato family, they have the best flavor and flesh-to-juice ratio. Simply slice and enjoy as they are, and don’t forget to season with salt—the key to drawing out a tomato’s delicious sweetness!

kale polenta with tomato and fried egg

kale polenta with fried eggs and tomatoes We love the simplicity of this dish. Smooth polenta flavored with a quick kale pesto is the perfect canvas for slices of heirloom tomato and a fried egg seasoned with za’atar. Plus, there’s nothing more delightful than breaking a runny yolk and stirring it into the polenta for extra creaminess.

As a general rule, be sure to store all of your tomatoes at room temperature to preserve their wonderful texture and flavor. Tomatoes are in season until the end of September, so grab them, cook them, and love them while you can! Cook, relax, and enjoy!

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