It's a known fact that you just can't have too many tomatoes. And by "tomatoes," I mean real tomatoes—the kind that ripen in the sunshine, spend no more than an hour or two in captivity, and, when sliced, display their jewel tones all the way through. The kind you can only get locally … because good tomatoes just don't travel all that well. If they're hardy enough to survive a refrigerated truck ride across the country at the bottom of a produce box, chances are pretty good they were never worth eating.
So in my house at this time of year, we eat ourselves silly in tomatoes—real tomatoes. From fall to spring we can't get through a jar of mayonnaise before it hits its expiration date, but during the five or six summer weeks when tomatoes are at their finest, we go through tanks of mayo. A typical day: scrambled eggs with sliced tomatoes for breakfast, tomato sandwich for lunch, some kind of tomato salad or veggie saute (with tomatoes of course) at dinner. Nothing fancy, just simple recipes that highlight the produce item that represents, more than any other, the vivid, sensuous flavors of summer.
The tomatoes in my own remedial garden are already starting to fade, but I'm not anywhere close to being tired of them. Lucky for me, I know I can count on our area farmers to supply local farmers markets with high-quality, peak-season tomatoes for at least a few more weeks.
If you haven't started indulging yet, I strongly recommend that you make up for lost time with a tomato sandwich, right now. Then you can try some of my favorite recipes below.
Fresh Tomato Salsa from David Tanis' "A Platter of Figs"
Market Special: Georgia Tomato Sandwiches
Sauteed Sweet Corn with Cherry Tomatoes and Summer Herbs
Penne with Marinated Tomatoes, Basil, and Garlic Bread Crumbs from Annie Somerville's "Fields of Greens"
Garden Red Eye
Image by: Monitorpop at en.wikipedia