5 Recipes that Let You Capitalize on Good, Ripe Tomatoes

Tomato collage

One of the best things about summer: the bevy of fresh tomatoes available from farmers’ markets and backyard gardens. We hoard them to make tomato sauce, gazpacho, and bruschetta. Or we simply serve them sliced with mozzarella, basil, and a generous drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.

Unfortunately, fresh tomato season is fleeting … and it’s now early fall. But, no doubt, many of you still have access to good tomatoes in your garden or farmers’ market. Below are recipes that let you capitalize on them.

Tomato Salad with Baby Mozzarella Balls

“I refuse to make this salad at any other time of the year than when heirloom tomatoes are in season – even though I’ve been known to lust over it in mid-January,” Viviane Bauquet Farre – creator of the food website food & style – says. “So every year, from late June until mid-October, I’ll make this salad at least once a week.” The tomatoes in this simple dish – and you can use varieties other than heirlooms – are paired with baby mozzarella balls and fresh basil. The salad is drizzled “lavishly” with a “spicy” extra virgin olive oil, such as our peppery Miller’s Blend or Rich & Robust. (Click here to see the recipe.)

Stuffed Tomatoes 

Blogger Janelle Maiocco of Talk of Tomatoes stuffs these red beauties with breadcrumbs, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. “So easy,” she notes, “yet they add sophistication to any plate.” Use our Everyday Fresh oil to prepare the dish; and give the cooked tomatoes a finishing drizzle of our more robust Arbosana to provide a final flourish of tomato and almond flavor. (Click here to see the recipe.)

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Stacks

“Serving something warm and cooked (eggplant and tomato) against something cool and uncooked (mozzarella) is a simple trick for building layers of flavor,” Napa chef Michael Chiarello says of this dish in his cookbook At Home with Michael Chiarello. He recommends putting one stack on each dinner plate alongside a simple grilled meat. Chiarello adds that if you’re serving “a lavish mixed grill, put all the stacks on a platter and pass the platter around the table.” You could give each stack a finishing drizzle with our fruity Arbequina oil. (Click here to see the recipe.)

Spaghetti with Raw Tomato Sauce

This sauce screams fresh. Ripe tomatoes are peeled, seeded and chopped. They’re combined in a bowl with extra virgin olive oil – we’d use our Everyday Fresh or fruity Arbequina – along with basil, a couple of whole garlic cloves, and salt and pepper. The ingredients are left to “mingle” at room temperature for half an hour. Pair the sauce with cooked spaghetti. The dish appears in Recipes from an Italian Summer (Click here to see the recipe.)

Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Food writer Diane Rossen Worthington argues rightly that “you an never have enough caramelized tomato flavor on plain pasta.” For this dish, she suggests using red cherry or grape tomatoes. They’re oven-roasted with minced garlic, bread crumbs, Parmesan, salt and pepper, and extra virgin olive oil (like our Everyday Fresh). The tomatoes are cooked until the mixture is “bubbly, browned, and slightly thickened.” Toss with your favorite pasta and basil. The dish appears in Worthington’s book Seriously Simple: Easy Recipes for Creative Cooks (Click here to see the recipe.)

Bon appétit,

Your Friends at California Olive Ranch