Tomato season is fleeting. Sure, you can buy fresh tomatoes at your local supermarket throughout the year, but if you’ve ever had a tomato fresh from a garden in the summertime, you’ll know the flavor is unparalleled.
People rave over tomato sandwiches, and for good reason; they’re delicious. But tomatoes can do so much more.
Whether you grew your own or got a little too ambitious at the farmers' market, here are six ways to use up those fresh tomatoes. All of these recipes call for at least a pound of the tomatoes of your choice.
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1. Upside-Down Tomato Tart
For a savory riff on a tarte tatin (typically made with apples), use tomatoes! This Upside-Down Tomato Tart features a savory caramel with sherry and shallots that coats 2 pounds of plum tomatoes. Roast the tomatoes until they’re juicy and their flavors have concentrated and then top it with (store-bought!) puff pastry and pop it back into the oven. It’s a beautiful showstopper that is just as easy as it is delicious.
2. Skillet Tomato Cobbler
For another savory spin on a sweet dessert, try a Skillet Tomato Cobbler. The garlicky, spoonable tomato filling is visible between wedges of buttery crust for an eye-catching contrast. But the wedge crust does more than look pretty. It promotes evaporation to help the tomatoes cook down and concentrate their flavor. The dough comes together in a food processor to prevent overmixing, and the grated butter promotes a light, flaky texture.
Tomato CorersWe put five tomato corers to the test, but would any of them work better than a paring knife?
3. Grilled Tomatoes
This recipe for Grilled Tomatoes uses up the tomatoes of your choice in an hour with minimal ingredients: just salt, pepper, and a drizzle of EVOO. The secret is salting them beforehand while your grill heats up. The char amplifies their natural sweetness. Nothing is wasted; even the juice from the salted tomatoes is used at the end to dress up the beautifully grilled halves. Eat them alone or as a side with torn fresh basil.
4. Pasta with Burst Cherry Tomato Sauce and Fried Caper Crumbs
If you have an hour, you can cook pasta with a richly flavored burst tomato sauce and umami-maxed anchovy-caper crumbs. That’s right, this Pasta with Burst Cherry Tomato Sauce and Fried Caper Crumbs comes together in just 50 minutes, though these restaurant-worthy textures will make your guests think otherwise.
Cherry tomatoes are key for this recipe–their small size and big flavor means they don’t need as much prep or cooking as their larger counterparts. Add a little butter and you have the perfect end-of-summer sauce.
5. Best Summer Tomato Gratin
This gratin features hearty croutons, sweet tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese: think your favorite deconstructed summer sandwich, but better. This recipe cooks down 3 pounds of your best in-season tomatoes, but we recommend you not use drier tomatoes, such as plum. Instead, go for big juicy beefsteak tomatoes or even heirloom tomatoes for a colorful contrast. The Best Summer Tomato Gratin has lots of texture and bright flavors all baked together for easy spooning, like a bread pudding in half the time.
6. Preserve Enough Tomatoes for the Rest of the Year
If you have a true bumper crop of tomatoes, this recipe for Whole Peeled Tomatoes uses a whopping 13 pounds worth! Our method (from our book Foolproof Preserving!) captures the essence of summer in every jar. Take an afternoon to blanch, prep, and pack tomatoes in their own juice before sealing and storing—enlist some friends to help you out and send them home with a jar or two, if you’re feeling generous.
If stored properly, these tomatoes will last up to 1 year, giving you the taste of summer during the dead of winter.