The Time to Eat Fresh Tomatoes Is Now: The Best No-Can, No-Jar Recipes

Melissa-dArabian-Mediterranean-Pasta

Melissa-dArabian-Mediterranean-Pasta

Photo by: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tara Donne, FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

The cans of tomatoes lining your pantry have had your back all year long, but now is the time to give that can opener a rest. Right now fresh tomatoes are reaching their longed-for, juicy peak. Put these fleeting gems to good use by incorporating them into dishes that normally call for the can — pasta, soup and more — and do it fast.

When the need for a quick pasta meal arises, put the can of crushed tomatoes down. Though the can creates a speedy marinara (and a jar of tomato sauce is even quicker), remember these standbys will still be there for you once tomato season passes on by. Instead, go for Melissa d’Arabian’s Mediterranean Summer Pasta with Salsa Cruda, which brings fresh, diced tomatoes into the mix. Side note: This sauce is a no-cook dream. Instead of simmering it on the stove, you combine all the ingredients in a bowl and let their flavors meld together before tossing with the pasta.

Rather than slathering pizza dough with another jar of store-bought marinara (or going all the way and ordering delivery), keep things pure with Giada De Laurentiis’ Pizza with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil, which involves sliced fresh tomatoes and no sauce at all.

Twisting open a jar of store-bought salsa is the easiest way to get your chips-and-salsa fix, but leave that fallback for another day. Dip your chips into Ellie Krieger’s five-minute, easy Tomato Salsa instead, which comes together in a blender with fresh plum tomatoes, jalapeno, lime juice and a little olive oil.

You could empty out a can for a taste of classic cream of tomato soup, either serving canned soup as is or using canned tomatoes as a base. But no, not this time. Ina Garten’s homemade Cream of Fresh Tomato Soup reels in big flavor with four pounds of fresh, from-the-vine tomatoes.

The ketchup you squeeze out of the bottle is one of those store-bought products that’s pretty untouchable, but why not use in-season tomatoes as an excuse to experiment? Guy Fieri tops his burgers with homemade Worcestershire Tomato Ketchup, made with fresh Roma tomatoes that are either pureed or left chunky.

After feasting on these fresh-tomato recipes, you’ll probably want to extend that goodness even longer. Follow our step-by-step guide for canning tomatoes.

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