It’s the apex of tomato season, and a perfect time for simple cooked preparations that maximize their flavor.

Ellen sprinkles halved, seeded, cored tomatoes with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and pepper and roasts them at 450°F for 45 minutes, then stirs and roasts for another 45 minutes. These can be eaten as is on pasta or bread, Ellen says, or puréed to make soup. You can add thickly sliced onions and whole garlic cloves; eggplant and red peppers are also good additions. “There is no wrong way to do this,” she adds.

souschef likes tomatoes “peeled, seeded, chopped, and put into a pan with butter, diced garlic, salt, and pepper. Then cooked till all you have left is the concentrated essence of the tomato. Great stirred into risotto or pasta.” 4Snisl says thick slices of tomato topped with Parmesan and bread crumbs make a topping for macaroni and cheese that’s “achingly good.”

Nyleve raves about paella with tomatoes. She took it to a potluck, “and people were licking out the pan,” she says, before adding, “you should really make this.”

Summer tomatoes star in CHOW’s Heirloom Tomato–Basil Pasta with Olives and Feta.

Board Links: Your Favorite Fresh Tomato Recipes
Don’t forget tomato paella

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