All summer I look forward to tomato season. I’m giddy with anticipation. After eight months of tasteless slabs of mealy hot-house tomatoes, my long wait is over. Ripe, juicy, sweet, and tangy, they are by far, the best thing to come out of the garden.
Alas, not all tomatoes are created equal, and not all restaurants choose their tomatoes with the love and attention they deserve. So, for those of you who also celebrate the tomato, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite tomato-centric meals this summer. Simple, traditional summer favorites at restaurants where the chef is careful to choose the best produce and ingredients to complement, not mask, summer’s shining star.
Fried green tomatoes rolled in a cornmeal batter and served piping hot. Topped with tuna tar tare and a green onion Tabasco vinaigrette, the combination of hot and cold, and tangy and spicy were Delicious. My mouth still waters just thinking about it!
Heirloom tomatoes, basil oil, and fresh-stretched mozzarella. Sweet, tangy, full of flavor, the tomatoes were perfect and the mozzarella and basil oil struck the perfect balance.
Sweet, juicy cherry tomatoes add pizazz to the squid salad with baby green beans and basil. Tossed in a light tarragon vinaigrette, this was a refreshing dish for lunch on a hot afternoon.
The heirloom tomatoes make a panzanella special, and Beretta’s is superb. Panzanella’s are often too mushy, but at Beretta, the Tuscan bread is still crusty, softened just a bit by the juice of the tomatoes. Yum.
Blue Barn Gourmet
The perfect balance of B, L and T with a pesto aioli, served on whole-grain toast not too thick to fit it in your mouth, but substantial enough to soak up the tomato juice without falling apart.
Scrambled eggs on a rustic roll, topped with bacon and slices of tomato so ripe and juicy it’s hard to believe it wasn’t picked minutes before we arrived.
I can’t imagine, nor do I want to know, how many calories make up a tomato and mozzarella tart, but I assure you, each and everyone are worth it.