Vine-ripened, and packed with real tomato goodness, you just can’t beat home-grown tomatoes. For sandwiches and salads, I choose from the meatier varieties like Campbell or Celebrity and for salsa or bruschetta, it’s the Roma or plum tomatoes that work the best. If you’re looking for some inspiration from and a little variety, why not try some of these favourite fresh tomato recipes from around the world.
Greek Village Salad
In Greece, this salad as called Horiatiki. It includes some of that country’s most popular food items: Kalamata olives, feta cheese and olive oil. Wedges of ripe tomatoes are tossed with cucumber, red onion and green pepper and dressed with a vinaigrette of olive oil, lemon, oregano, salt and pepper. I prefer to use pitted olives.
Bacon lettuce and tomato sandwiches, or BLTs, are one of the most popular sandwiches in the US, Canada and the UK. During tomato harvest season, there is a rise in demand for bacon as the fresh tomatoes are the star ingredient. Since many Canadians take such pride and pleasure in their bacon, you’ll find some of the best BLTs are made with juicy, thick sliced garden tomatoes, a few slices of high-quality bacon, crisp lettuce, and mayonnaise, generously spread on this classic toasted sandwich.
English Breakfast Tomatoes
For the Brits, a true Full English Breakfast always includes a fried tomato half. I like to fry up some of these tomatoes with steak and eggs. To prepare: slice the tomatoes in half, coat with a little olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the cut-sides down in a frying pan and cook on medium heat without moving them for about 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully turn the tomatoes over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until tender but still maintaining their shape.
The late summer harvest is the best time to make Ratatouille. This classic French stew is best when made with fresh tomatoes, zucchinis, eggplant, bell peppers and onions. It’ pretty versatile too; serve as a vegetarian main dish, side dish, warm or cold with toast or crusty bread with breakfast, lunch or dinner. FULL RECIPE
The perfect appetizer at any dinner party, bruschetta is a great way to share your succulent summer tomato harvest. Add some fresh basil, garlic, oil and serve on toast. FULL RECIPE
Pico de Gallo – Traditional Mexican Salsa
This chopped tomato, onion, lime, cilantro blend is served fresh as a popular Mexican appetizer and condiment. Always served fresh, you can easily adjust the recipe to your desired heat level. FULL RECIPE
What’s nice about this no-cook soup, is that you don’t cook away the rich flavours of your home-grown tomatoes. In this recipe, some seasonal local fruit is included for a hint of sweetness, smoked Spanish paprika adds some depth, while the mellow pearl onions and chives don’t overpower the wonderful marriage of the super fresh ingredients. FULL RECIPE
Fettuccine with Fresh Marinara & Meatballs
Combine fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, passata and spices, blend with pasta then top with parsley and Parmesan cheese. Serve with a side of grilled homemade meatballs. FULL RECIPE
Named for the Italian isle of Capri, this simple salad consists of sliced tomatoes, with basil and fresh mozzarella or bocconcini cheese arranged on a platter and drizzled with, olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. There are variations using other cheeses or the addition of other greens like arugula. I like to drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over it. If you have cherry tomatoes, you can serve them with the cheese and basil on skewers.
Fresh Tomato Linguine with Italian Sausage
Turn your regular pasta and tomato sauce into a flavour explosion with this summertime meal. Just prepare your pasta with sauce (either marinara or Bolognese) as usual then top it with fresh diced tomatoes, fresh grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese and fresh parsley. With a good quality barbecued Italian sausage on the side, and a cool bottle of Valpolicella Ripasso or Amarone you’ll be living “la vita bella”.