Get them while they're ripe. Our recipes celebrate the freshest flavors of heirloom tomatoes and their exotic offspring.
The appeal of the tomato -- once known as the pomme d’amour, or “apple of love” -- endures. Nothing else captures summer so well in one sweet, juicy, complex bite. The beauties shown here come from Wild Boar Farms, in Napa Valley, California. These heirlooms and their new kin, striped and bicolor varieties bred from accidental heirloom crossbreeds, are the stars of our freshest recipes. If you can't find heirlooms, use the ripest, most flavorful tomatoes you can find.
Tomato and Mango Salad
With Chiles and Tomato Essence
This colorful mix is dressed with tomato water, which is made by draining pureed tomatoes for a day. It may look pale, but its flavor is astonishing: You’ll want to spoon up every drop.
The Very Essence of the Tomato
Lucinda Scala Quinn shows you how to make "the most tomatoey tomato-flavored liquid" of all. Use it in cold soups, sauces, and drinks.
With Grilled Rustic Bread
Simply slice a colorful assortment and arrange it on grilled rustic bread that’s been rubbed with garlic and oil. This is a great party trick that delivers lots of impact with very little work.
With Pasta, Mint, and Toasted Almonds
The green tomatoes used in this simple pasta dish aren’t unripe; they retain their color even when ready to eat. And they have a slightly grassy flavor that comes from extra chlorophyll in the flesh. One variety you may have seen is ‘Green Zebra.’ It's a pleasantly tart “new heirloom” that dates from the 1980s and is a relative newcomer -- compared with 19th-century heirlooms. This is an ideal supper for a hot evening; just looking at it makes you feel cool.
With Cherries, Balsamic, and Hyssop
Any large, meaty pink-red to deep-red heirloom, such as ‘Brandywine’ or ‘Cherokee Purple,’ makes a substantial bed for the playful combination of cherry tomatoes and Bing cherries. We love the fragrance of anise hyssop, but mint, basil, or tarragon will also work nicely here.
With Crisp Fried Eggplant and Burrata
Tomatoes and eggplants both have a long growing season and ripen at the same time, so it’s natural for their flavors to go together. For our crisp fried eggplant, we used slices of the slender Japanese variety -- they cook quickly without soaking up too much oil and becoming heavy.
All you need to round out dinner is fresh tomatoes, creamy burrata cheese, and aromatic basil.