The best tomatoes--juicy with a bright, summer-sweet taste--are vine-ripened. A cue for great taste is a deep, rich color all the way up to the stem, but a full tomato aroma counts too. Don't be shy: It's OK to sniff a tomato. Store your tomatoes at room temperature, not in the refrigerator; chilling deadens their taste and mars their texture. Why mash instead of mince garlic? For raw dips and sauces, when the garlic is reduced to a smooth paste, it flavors a dish more evenly and less harshly than if added in pieces. Another reason to love this "smushing": It's quicker than mincing.