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High Summer - Sides and Sauces

DK PublishingDK Publishing 2/07/2014 DKBooks
© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

© Provided by DKBooks

Season’s best tomatoes

The myriad varieties of this quintessential ingredient range in color from near black through red, yellow, to almost white; in size from that of a pea to a huge sphere; and in taste from sweet to spritely acidic. Best in high summer and fall, they suit all cheeses. Good flavorings are garlic, herbs (basil, cilantro, oregano, or thyme), orange, vodka, or chile. Onions, peppers, meat, fish, or eggs are also perfect partners.

Red Cherry

These small-fruited varieties are usually more flavorful than larger ones. Handy to eat whole as a snack, or when lightly crushed and warmed in oil, they make a colorful pizza topping.

Uniform bright red, glossy skin and sweet, juicy flesh.


A prolific cropper with a rich tomato flavor. It is a popular used in salads, broiling or frying in halves, or for sauces.


A gourmet-quality tomato, Brandywine is highly praised for its distinctive, well-balanced acidity and sweetness.

With its generous diameter, Brandywine is ideal for slicing, to use in salads and sandwiches.

Beam’s yellow pear

An attractive little yellow tomato with a distinctive shape. It looks great halved in salads.

The yellow pear tapers at the top, making it stand out from other cherry varieties.

San Marzano

With its superior, rich tomato flavor and meaty interior, this is the classic variety for canning and paste-making. Many consider it to be the best sauce tomato in the world.

Most of the flavor is in the jelly surrounding the seeds, so do not discard them.

Green Zebra

A good-sized tomato with greenish-gold stripes and spots, this variety has an excellent, tangy flavor. It is good used raw in salads and salsas.

Gardener’s delight

A very popular cherry tomato with a bright red color and a sweet flavor.

White beauty

This is a rarer tomato, with creamy white flesh all the way through. It has a delicate flavor and is very sweet.

If the fruit turns too yellow, it is overripe.

Tomatoes grow in almost all temperate climates, even Siberia. They are grown either outdoors, or in polytunnels or hothouses, but when ripened in the sun in summer, they have the scent and flavor everyone desires.

How to peel and seed tomatoes

Tomatoes are best peeled and seeded if you plan to use them for sauces or soups. When using cold for salads or for stuffing, this isn’t necessary.

Remove the green stem, score an “X” in the skin of each tomato, at the base, then immerse it in a pan of boiling water for 20 seconds, or until the skin loosens.

With a slotted spoon, remove the tomato from the boiling water and place it immediately into a bowl of iced water to cool quickly.

Lift out of the water and, using a paring knife, peel away the loosened skin. To seed, halve the tomato, then gently squeeze out the seeds over a bowl to catch them.


Varieties available

Tomberries, cherry, cocktail (larger than cherry), baby plum, plum, standard, beefsteak.


Choose ones that smell of the vine, not too soft, with fresh, bright green calyces.


Keep at room temperature, not in the fridge, unless they are very ripe. Arrange so tomatoes don’t touch each other.


Bake whole, roast, broil, fry, sauté, or stew. Make into sauce or soup. Add to casseroles and stews.


Oven-dry and pack in olive oil; make ketchup or chutney; pickle green (unripe) tomatoes.

Recipe ideas

Fresh tomatoes stuffed with fruity couscous

Roasted tomato soup

Sausage and tomato pie

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