It’s the best time of year for tomato fans! If you’re lucky enough to have tomatoes in your garden, chances are they are ready to slice into salad, toss into pasta or use in your favorite sauce recipe. Tomatoes are such a delicious and versatile vegetable, but using the right variety can be the difference between a successful sauce or a ho hum meal. Choosing a ripe, juicy tomato is just the beginning! Find out which varieties to choose for your recipe.
Want a great sauce? Get a plum tomato!
Plum, or Roma tomatoes, are perfect for your favorite sauce recipe. They have a lower moisture content, fewer seeds and a firmer flesh that is perfect for simmering and making a hearty tomato sauce. One of the best varieties is San Marzanos, which are also available canned and a wonderful option when fresh are not readily available.
Serving salad? Grab a beefsteak!
This is the classic tomato. It’s large and juicy making it the perfect choice for a BLT sandwich or to top off a grilled burger. They have a high water content and are not the best option for making your own pasta sauce, but are delicious chopped and tossed into pasta dish when you want a bright burst of color and flavor. We think they’re great served with a side salad and your favorite pasta dish.
Cold pasta salad? Go with cherry tomatoes!
Chances are pretty good that you or a neighbor have a cherry tomato plant that is just bursting with tomatoes. Say YES when they are offered – they are perfect sliced in half and tossed in a pasta salad. These sweet little beauties are often found in red, yellow and orange varieties that keep their shape and hold up well under refrigeration. They also look beautiful served on a veggie tray or on a skewer with a basil leaf and Ciliengini Mozzerella (small balls of fresh mozzarella) for a tiny Caprese salad appetizer.
Whichever tomatoes you choose, remember it’s better to store them at room temperature until they are fully ripe – which is when they are perfect for serving! After that, refrigeration can delay decay, but it’s best to eat them at the peak of perfection!