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Ten Uses for Fresh Tomatoes

A ripe, fresh tomato grown locally is something to marvel at and enjoy. But how? Check out these top 10 ways.

sarah_caron_100x100
Past Contributor
Shopping at farmers markets doesn’t just mean you get fresh produce from close to home. It also means you get to chat with the people who grow your food, and relish in the aromas of the freshest, just-picked fruits and veggies. 

When it comes to tomatoes, there is nothing better than those that are locally grown. As you walk near tomatoes at the farmers market, the distinctive scent hits you before you can even see them. And when you finally do see them, the brilliant color and soft, supple flesh are like nothing found in a grocery store.

Tomatoes
When you get them home, what will you do with your fresh tomatoes?

  1. Caprese Salad. Slice the tomatoes and layer with slices of fresh mozzarella and basil. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and a good balsamic vinegar, if you want. Sprinkle with salt and serve. It’s an incredible flavor explosion. 
  2. Gazpacho. This chilled summer tomato soup requires no cooking, so you won’t heat up the kitchen making it. And since it’s not heated, it really showcases the fresh flavor. Try Gazpacho with Basil Crème Fraiche. 
  3. Bruschetta. Served on small slices of toasted bread, bruschetta is a perfect appetizer for any dinner party. Try this Bruschetta recipe featuring tomatoes, garlic, basil and capers. 
  4. Top Your Sandwich. Tomatoes aren’t just for BLTs! Put them on your tuna salad, ham and cheese or whatever. But if you aren’t eating the sandwich immediately, package them separately and add at the last minute. 
  5. Kick Out Ketchup. Fresh tomatoes have so much amazing, sweet and brilliant flavor that they can take the place of ketchup on burgers. Try a thicker slice. 
  6. Salsa. There is no salsa quite like homemade salsa. You not only control the heat, but all the flavors in it. Try this Homemade Tomato Salsa to start. 
  7. No-Cook Pasta Sauce. Marinara sauce can be too heavy for summer, but a raw sauce showcasing fresh tomatoes is perfect. Try Rigatoni and Tomatoes for a great introduction. 
  8. In Lasagna. Add an extra layer to your lasagna by sticking thinly sliced fresh tomatoes in between the cheese and pasta. 
  9. With Fried Eggplant. Fried eggplant is delicious, if not a little heavy. Lighten it up a bit by layering slices of fried eggplant with slices of fresh tomato and even some thin slices of fresh mozzarella. It’s heavenly. 
  10. Simply with Salt. My favorite way to enjoy summer’s freshest tomatoes? Sliced and sprinkled with a good finishing salt. They are flavorful enough to be enjoyed alone.

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