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Hot pan, a little oil, a bunch of cherry tomatoes or other small-ish specimens, a sprinkle of salt, a few shakes of the pan and voilà!
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Caprese salad is simple. Place a layer sliced tomatoes, sliced fresh mozzarella, and basil leaves on a plate or serving platter. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, if you like, and sprinkle with salt.
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Corn, Tomato, and Basil Salad
Everyone knows tomatoes and basil are a natural combination (they grow together, they go together). Add a bit of super-fresh, tender, sweet corn to the mix, however, and you have a sweet and crunchy salad. Toss chopped tomatoes and freshly cut sweet corn kernels with some sherry vinegar, season with salt and pepper if you like, and top with torn basil leaves or basil cut into elegant ribbons for this delicious corn, tomato, and basil salad.
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Grilled tomatoes are a great way to enjoy summer's favorite vegetables. In general, you want to use tomatoes that are firm when ripe, such as Early Girls or Brandywine tomatoes, for grilling.Continue to 5 of 13 below.
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No-Cook Pasta Sauce
In a large bowl, combine several chopped tomatoes, 1 or 2 cloves of minced garlic, salt, and pepper to taste. Add olive oil to coat tomatoes. Add hot pasta and toss to coat pasta. Add more olive oil, if you like.
Bits of fresh mozzarella can be added—they will get a bit melted and unctuous when tossed with the hot pasta. Red chile flakes, basil, oregano, chopped olives, and freshly shredded Parmesan are all tasty additions as well.
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Open-Faced Tomato & Ricotta Sandwich
Spread the best ricotta cheese you can find (sheep's milk ricotta is a favorite) on a thick slice of artisan bread (any kind you like will work—ciabatta, hearty rye, honey whole wheat, walnut, or sourdough). Thickly slice a tomato and lay slices on top of the cheese. Sprinkle with sea salt, "gray salt," or fleur de sel.
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Pan con Tomato
For pan con tomato, rub the bread with cut garlic clove and cut tomato—working the pulp into the bread, sprinkle with salt or top with cheese, ham, or sausage.
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Make your own salsa fresca by mixing chopped tomato with your choice of the following: minced red onion, minced garlic, finely chopped jalapeño, or serrano chiles. Add salt to taste. A splash of red vinegar can be tasty, too.Continue to 9 of 13 below.
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Tomato bruschetta is a wonderfully easy way to enjoy fresh, ripe, seasonal tomatoes. Play around with these as much as you like—add other chopped vegetables, try basil oil, use different herbs, add a bit of cheese—bruschetta has endless flexibility. Just start with chopped tomatoes, a bit of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt on some toasted (preferably garlic-rubbed) bread.
Bruschetta is traditionally made with stale bread and for a good reason. When you toast up stale bread, it's a bit harder and a bit more able to stand up to tomato juices and olive oil than is fresh bread.
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Tomato Chickpea Salad
Chop tomatoes, whisk dressing, drain chickpeas, and toss together. Done!Continue to 13 of 13 below.
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Tomato, Cucumber & Red Onion Salad
Toss 2 chopped tomatoes, 1 peeled and chopped cucumber, 1 small chopped red onion, and a bit of olive oil and red wine vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.