Here's a countdown of recipes and preparations using one of the stars of warm weather eating - the sweet, juicy, ripe tomato. After suffering through pink, tasteless, mealy supermarket tomatoes all winter, there's nothing that says summer like a beautiful, just-picked tomato. And the best part of these recipes is that they are all easy to make.
01 of 08
Fresh Tomato, Goat Cheese, and Herb Salad
This California dish is the least traditional member on this list, but one taste of this salad and any doubts about its inclusion will be dashed. Tear the leaves of a head of tender butter lettuce apart, and top with freshly cut tomatoes, a few slices of cucumber, and a generous crumbling of fresh goat cheese.
Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, and top with a large sprinkling of sweet herbs - basil, parsley, tarragon, and mint. A little drizzle of oil and vinegar is all that's needed to finish this delicious tomato salad.
02 of 08
Fresh Tomato Pizza
There is nothing wrong with a traditional slice of pizza. But, in the middle of summer, turn that pizza into something really special, with slices of fresh heirloom tomatoes. Before you top with the cheese, simply arrange some thin slices of fresh tomato on top of the usual sauce. Be sure to season with some salt and fresh ground black pepper to really bring out those flavors.
03 of 08
Oven-Roasted Fresh Tomatoes
As anyone that has a few cherry tomato plants out in the backyard can attest, all you need to have an easy recipe to use up all those extras! The neighbors will only take so many. So, cut them in half, toss with extra virgin olive oil, some salt and fresh ground black pepper, maybe a few springs of herb, and roast in a slow oven until caramelized. Once cooled, these roasted tomatoes can be used in countless recipes.
04 of 08
Greek Salad with Fresh Tomatoes and Feta
Greek immigrants who settled in the Midwest brought this classic fresh salad to America's tables. A Greek salad is a perfect recipe to enjoy sweet, ripe cherry tomatoes, along with the traditional cucumbers, onions and feta cheese.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Gazpacho is a great warm weather soup because you eat it cold. This recipe is fairly traditional and really shows off the vine-ripened goodness of tomatoes. You can make this gazpacho as mild or spicy as you like by adjusting the amount of hot peppers.
06 of 08
This is such an easy and beautiful cold platter to serve at any summer meal. A tomato and mozzarella salad with fresh basil is a classic combination, and this version features each slice of tomato as its own salad.
07 of 08
Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich
Tomatoes are a common addition to all kinds of American sandwiches, but no sandwich shows off the sweet tangy goodness of a summer tomato like the BLT! The crisp lettuce, the smoky bacon, the mayonnaise tying everything together - it doesn't get much better than this for enjoying a fresh summer tomato.
08 of 08
The ultimate way to enjoy a fresh, sweet, ripe, summer tomato is plucked from the vine, brushed off with bare hands, and eaten as is. Its hot juices exploding with months of stored sunshine. Anyone that has grown tomatoes will testify that it doesn't get any better. If you don't have your own garden, the next best thing would be visiting a farmers market to enjoy that just-picked taste.