If you’ve ever picked a ripe tomato from its vine, smelled its leaves and bitten into it right there in the garden, you know there’s nothing like it: slightly sweet, a tad tangy and extraordinarily flavorful. The tasteless tomatoes you find year-round in the supermarket will never measure up.
Fortunately, our farmers markets and farm stands, even our backyards, are about to be loaded with these beauties. Their color and shape make them one of the most gorgeous fruits to look at, but they are also extremely versatile and easy to cook with, whether sliced and tossed in a salad, tucked in a sandwich, or slowly simmered into a deep sauce.
But tomatoes are not all alike, not even locally grown ones. The beefsteak tomato, with its voluptuous curves, is always a showstopper; but what about the multicolored, odd-shaped, yet mesmerizing heirlooms? Each has its own different flavor.
Here are three simple, classic recipes — a gazpacho, an insalata caprese (Italy’s famous tomato and mozzarella salad), and a summery cold pasta. Dress them up with different colorful heirlooms, and you’ll find each recipe highlights the unique taste of its special tomato.
But all are beautiful, gourmet dishes you’ll want to make all season long.
Story and photos by Viviane Bauquet Farre | For The Journal News. Find her blog at foodandstyle.com.