Market Watch: Seasonal Tomatoes

Because we’re celebrating tomatoes this week, I went to my farmers' market and bought every kind of tomato I could find. Here’s how I made out.
Related To:

We’re celebrating the juicy tomato this week (can you tell?). In honor of this yummy summer treat, I went to my farmers' market and bought every kind of tomato I could find and then set out to make some simple, classic dishes. Here’s how I made out.

Fun Varieties

Toby talked about about the usual tomato varieties you'll find this time of year in her "In Season: Tomatoes" post. Hoping to find some unique ones, I asked my farmers what varieties they were selling (you can’t do that at the grocery store!).

First, I picked up some large and round “Trust” tomatoes -- a greenhouse-grown variety of beefsteak; they’re plump and delicious. I also found cherry tomatoes in two varieties, yellow and sweet “Sungold” and the equally yummy, strawberry-shaped “Tomatoberry.” There were also some oblong-shaped “Roma," a sturdy tomato that's great for roasting. Finally, they had one precious heirloom variety: sweet and delicate "Purple Cherokee" -- so named for its greenish-redish-purple skin. What a great selection!

Tomato Feast

I used the larger tomatoes -- Trust and Roma -- for my Roasted Tomato Sauce (recipe is below). This is a real a summertime favorite in my house. We serve it up with pasta or just dip some crusty bread in it.

As for the smaller guys, half went on the grill and the rest in a fresh salad with local cucumbers, fresh basil from my garden and a drizzle of my Simple Salad Dressing. Bobby Flay also has a terrific recipe for Tomato-Basil Salsa in his Mesa Grill Cookbook. I heart tomato season!

As for my Purple Cherokee, that went into a tomato sandwich on whole wheat bread. I added a few basil leaves and a sprinkle of salt and pepper -- so simple and delicious.

Roasted Tomato Sauce
Makes 10 servings (1/2 cup each)
6-8 large tomatoes cut into large chunks
1/2 large red onion, roughly chopped
1 red chili pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, whole
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper
1 can (15 ounces) canned tomato sauce, no salt added
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place tomatoes, onion, chili and garlic on a large sheet pan; add 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, oregano and pepper and toss to coat. Roast vegetables for 25-30 minutes or until tomatoes just begin to char; set aside to cool slightly. In a large pot, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and then add the roasted tomato mixture, tomato sauce, tomato paste and wine. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add basil and parsley; season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Puree sauce using an immersion blender* until smooth.

(*If you do not have an immersion blender, puree in a countertop blender in small batches. Make sure to hold the top of the blender closed with a dish towel while the machine is on.)

Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Calories: 80 calories
Total Fat: 3 grams
Saturated Fat: 0 grams
Total Carbohydrate: 11 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Sodium: 139 milligrams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Fiber: 3 grams
    More tomato recipes to try:
Keep Reading

Next Up

Tomato Questions from Our Readers: Storing and Handling Fresh Tomatoes

We asked our readers on Facebook and Twitter for their questions about tomatoes, and here are the answers to some of their questions.

5 Ways We're Using Up the Last of Summer's Tomatoes

Yes, fresh tomatoes are available all year long, but they'll never taste quite as good as they do right now.

Reading List: Debate Over Exercise, Tomato Blight & Banning Drive-Thrus

In this week’s nutrition headlines: Northeastern tomato crops wiped out by blight, Smart Choice logo debut, and 4 lifestyle changes that lower your risk of disease.

Tomato Appetizers — Summer Fest

It's the perfect time to showcase meaty summer tomatoes, dripping with succulent juice and pulpy seeds, in simple appetizers your guests will surely want seconds of.

10 Easy Tomato Appetizers

Here are 10 fabulous appetizer recipes where tomatoes are the star.

Tomato, Tomahto

Browse some of Food Network's favorite tomato recipes and take advantage of this in-season fruit (not vegetable!) while it lasts.

Salad of the Month: Tomato with Sesame Dressing

This time of year, a bowl of sliced fresh tomatoes and a simple dressing can become a delicious meal in itself. Once you've had your fill of tomatoes dressed with the classic olive oil and balsamic or red wine vinegar, try this recipe for a change of pace.

This Week's CSA: Tomatoes at Last!

The Food Network Kitchen shares what's inside this week's CSA box.

7 Salads That Know How to Celebrate Summer Fruit

Sweet strawberries. Juicy peaches. Luscious mango. If you're looking for fresh ways to update a summer salad, prime-time fruits are an excellent place to start.

Katie's Healthy Bites: Pantry Must-Haves

A healthy pantry is the building block for any wholesome meal. For some inspiration, I wanted to share what I keep in my pantry so I'm prepared on busy days when there's not a lot of meal-planning time.