I couldn't stop myself Saturday morning. The tomatoes were in their full glory at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market and before I knew it, I had a half-dozen kinds.
Light-bulb shaped tear-drop tomatoes. Yellow and red Sungolds, a little smaller than cherry tomatoes. A couple of Green Zebras. A few basic slicers. And a bagful of the small White Currant tomatoes grown by Kim at Small City Farms: They're too small to stab with a fork in a salad, so I just carry around a bag of them and pop 'em like M&Ms.
It was tough, but I resisted the paste tomatoes at Dean Mullis' stand, and at least a half-dozen more kinds of heirloom tomatoes from a half-dozen farms.
So what to do with all those tomatoes? Tomato sandwiches, for sure. Maybe a few grilled tomatoes. Bruschetta when I get a chance. But first, just because you should revel in tomatoes in July, I threw together an all-tomato salad Sunday, just a bowl of cut-up tomatoes of all shapes and colors, a little fresh mozzarella, and a simple tomato-flavored dressing.
How about you? What's your favorite way to make the absolute best use of tomatoes in July?
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon concentrated tomato paste from a tube
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons best-quality olive oil
Whisk together the sherry vinegar, tomato paste and garlic in a small bowl. Place the bowl on a folded dish towel and slowly whisk in the olive oil. Flavor to taste with coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour over the bowl of cut-up tomatoes, toss and serve.