Our best tomato recipes to beat summer's heat

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It's tomato season! Photo by Prakriti Khajuria/Unsplash

It's summer. It's hot. Tomatoes are hitting their peak. They're glorious when sliced and eaten plain or sprinkled with a bit of salt. But if you're looking for a ways to make the most of summer's tomato bounty, have you considered a tomato slab pie? Or a gazpacho? Or an Indian-Italian eggplant-tomato caponata? We have two dozen tomato recipes to tickle your sweet, summertime fancy.

If, like Evan Kleiman, you don't want to spend days with a team of multiple people in an annual frenzy of tomato-canning, don't worry. These recipes are much easier. And maybe consider going to a Tomatomania event where you can get some seeds to grow your own.

Whether tomatoes are in season or not, you can liven them up with beets. Photo by Evan Kleiman


Beet and Tomato Salad
This is Evan Kleiman's version of a "Salad of Two Reds." She prefers to roast rather than boil her beets because the flavor is sweeter and the color more intense. The sweetness of the tomatoes tame the earthiness of the beets. Feel free to use any color of tomato you wish and don't be afraid to change up the herbs. White beans are a terrific addition. Get the recipe

Zucchini and Tomato Salad
In Jacques Pepin Fast Food My Way, the chef shared this light and lovely summer recipe that involves only a few ingredients — zucchini, tomatoes, mozzarella, cilantro, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Get the recipe

Summer Steak Salad
Hot steak over salad is a great concept: the juices of the meat flavor the veggies, which return the favor by adding a refreshing counterpoint to the rich beef. You can endlessly vary the flavors in this easy main course salad throughout the summer. Here, Amelia Saltsman, author of The Santa Monica Farmers Market Cookbook, has gone with lime, ginger, Thai basil, and early summer snap peas. Get the recipe

Not Your Everyday Caprésé
A native of Savannah, Georgia, chef Holly Jivin's version of a caprese involves blanching cherry tomatoes for 7 seconds then marinating them in a mix of mirin and balsamic vinegar. Get the recipe

Tomato and Bread Salad
What could be better than bread with your tomatoes? This one, from Greek chef Diane Kochilas, involves green apples, red onions, capers, mint, oregano, and, of course, olive oil. Scroll down for the recipe. Get the recipe

Green Tomato Mint Salad
Green tomatoes, which are tomatoes that are picked before they ripen, are crisp and tangy but still juicy. How do you use them? Chef Marc Matsumoto recommends cutting them into matchsticks and tossing them with mint and feta cheese. Get the recipe

The tomato sandwich at Birdie G's tastes as good as it looks. Photo by Elise Freimuth


Tomato Sandwich
This isn't a recipe so much as it is a few pieces of advice to make the most of this classic Southern summer treat. Use a soft white bread like Japanese milk bread, a good quality mayo (Kewpie is great), tomatoes that are as large as your bread (the beefsteak variety is great), and lightly salt the tomatoes after you've sliced them. Or go to Birdie G's where they make a version composed of focaccia made with tomato water, thick slices of benevento tomatoes, a mayo made with the tomato trim, and a powder made by dehydrating the fruit used in water. Get the recipe

Evan Kleiman's Gazpacho
Evan Kleiman grew up eating chilled beet borscht but this time of year, she turns her attention to tomatoes. She says this recipe is just a guide. You can add more cucumbers and less tomato, leave out the onion and garlic if your tomatoes are fantastic, and use any color of bell pepper you like. But you MUST use good olive oil and plenty of it or else you end up with weak salsa. Get the recipe

Bell Pepper and Tomato Gazpacho with Blackened Salmon
In Salmon: A Cookbook, Diane Morgan reports on salmon farming across the country and provides recipes and techniques for preparing these highly prized fish. In this case, a classic gazpacho accompanies grilled fish. Get the recipe

There are as many variations on tomato sauce as there are tomatoes. Photos by Shutterstock


Evan Kleiman's Summertime Tomato Sauce
This is fresh summertime tomato sauce Evan made at Caffe Angeli, and she used every conceivable variety of tomato. Don't skimp on the olive oil, either in quality or quantity. Cooking the tomatoes with the oil creates a marvelously textured sauce. And it's fast! The entire cooking process shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes. Get the recipe

Chunky Tomato Sauce
Here's another Evan Kleiman classic. You like your sauce chunky rather than pureed? This is your recipe. Get the recipe

Baingan Bharta Caponata
Baingan bharta is Hindi for “eggplant mash,” a dish comprised of roasted eggplant with onions, tomatoes, and various spices. Caponata is a tangy and sweet eggplant dish with Sicilian roots. Food writer and climate activist Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma has melded her Indian roots and love for Italian food in one spicy and sour dish. You'll find the recipe comes in her book Good Food, Healthy Planet. Get the recipe

Green Tomato Garlic Sauce
This green tomato sauce is part of chef Ken Takayama’s (of Citrin and Melisse) recipe for Ratatouille with Stuffed Squash Blossoms. But you don't need to make the entire ratatouille to make this sauce and pour it over pasta. Get the recipe

Tomato Confiture
A confiture is basically a jammier jam i.e. it has a higher fruit content than most jams or preserves. You can use the same technique on tomatoes to make an intense tomato spread. This recipe comes from chef Mark Gold. Get the recipe

Tomato is technically a fruit and that means it makes great pie. Photo via Shutterstock


Cherry Tomato Pie with Cheddar Garlic Streusel
Evan Kleiman developed this recipe because she wanted to play on the classic tomato, basil, garlic, cheese. Using the cheddar crumble topping she used for an apple pie, she pushed the cheesiness further by adding a cheddar crust. Get the recipe

Pluot, Feta, and Tomato Slab Pie
What is a slab pie? It’s simply your current favorite pie dough rolled out into a rectangle and put on a cookie sheet. It's topped with an Egyptian mezze of feta, tomato, and olive oil with sliced pluots. Get the recipe

Cherry Tomato Cobbler
The tomato is technically a fruit, which is one reason why this particular pie is so easy to throw together. The tomatoes act like berries, bursting apart once the heat of the oven penetrates the pie. The juices from the bursted beauties mix with a small amount of flour to thicken. Get the recipe

Tomato Tarte Tatin
Robert Wemischner offers a great new spin on the traditional tarte tatin.  Instead of apples, he uses tomatoes. Get the recipe

Green Tomato Pie
Evan Kleiman has made ripe tomato pies and French tomato tarts. She has also made fried green tomatoes. But she had never made a green tomato pie until she came across Adrienne Kane’s recipe for it in her book United States of Pie. Get the recipe

Tomato Soup Cake
At the turn of the 20th century, community cookbooks were popular items. Often distributed by local women's groups and strongly connected to particular communities, they featured recipes from home cooks and frequently served as fundraisers. From radiologists and rock collectors to zoo docents and Air Force wives, all of these books were written by groups of ordinary people. To Suzanne Joskow, they are sociological treasures. She has been collecting these self-published efforts in her online Community Cookbook Archive: LA. This recipe for Tomato Soup Cake comes from one of them. Get the recipe

To stave off their pasta cravings with a lighter option, many Italians turn to rice during the hottest months of the year. Photo by Molly Decoudreaux


Cold Summer Rice with Tomatoes and Basil
With its vivid colors and lively flavors, this is a colorful summer dish. Use very ripe tomatoes, the ones that appeal to fruit flies. Heirloom tomatoes, like Cherokee Purples or Beefsteaks are a good choice. Get the recipe

Fried Green Tomatoes with Ricotta, Tomato Jam and Chow Chow
Geen and red tomatoes fried in a tempura batter and topped with an herbed ricotta, house-made tomato jam, and chow chow, a pickled relish that's popular in the South? Yes, please! Get the recipe

One-Pot Halloumi & Tomato Pasta (Hellimli Domatesli Magarına)
In Othello, Shakespeare describes Cyprus as a melting pot where East meets West in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Influenced by Greek and Turkish cooking, Cypriot cuisine also involves herbs like coriander, which was brought over by Asian travelers. In Meliz’s Kitchen, Meliz Berg focuses on simple Turkish-Cypriot comfort food. One of her favorite ingredients is halloumi, a spongy cheese that is both eaten fresh and cooked in various dishes. Get the recipe

Roasted Tomatoes with Twelve Flavors
Brian Yarvin, the author of The Too Many Tomatoes Cookbook, shared this recipe with Good Food in 2009. Get the recipe