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  • The Chopping Blog

Four Ways to Enjoy Tomatoes

Posted by Carrie on Jul 17, 2015

Tomatoes are one of my most cherished summer produce items. I always advocate eating, cooking and using seasonal ingredients at their prime. In my opinion, it should be a crime to sell tomatoes in the U.S. anytime other than June through September.


I was lucky enough to grow up in south Alabama close to the small town of Slocomb, known as the “Home of the Tomato”, where they have a Tomato Festival every June. One of my cousins is the chef for a restaurant in Seaside, Florida, and I’m continually watching him post pictures of beautiful vine-ripened tomatoes he is working with from local farmers.

When I called my grandmother on her 92nd birthday last week, I asked her what she had for lunch on her birthday. Her reply: a tomato sandwich!

In celebration of the season, I’ll share with you:

Four of my Favorite Ways to Enjoy Tomatoes

1. My favorite childhood summer lunch: the tomato sandwich. All you need is two slices of toasted bread, Hellman’s mayonnaise (no Miracle Whip!), one vine-ripe tomato and salt and pepper to taste.


Simple and delicious.


2. From our private events summer menu: Farmers' Market Feast, the Heirloom Tomato and Peach Salad with Basil. The first time I made this salad, I was skeptical because I had not combined tomatoes and peaches in a dish before. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Book a private party with us to enjoy!

3. Fried Green Tomatoes from our Date Night: Country Cooking class. Sign up for class and we’ll teach you the proper way to cook this beloved, southern delicacy. Or, if you just want to sit down and enjoy a few, go visit my friend and fellow Chef Paul Fehribach at Big Jones in Andersonville. Yum!

4. Last but not least, the Caprese Salad. Cheese, especially mozzarella, parmesan, goat and feta pair perfectly with tomatoes. Adding a beautiful extra virgin olive oil, such as Columela, Cream of Balsamic (both available at The Chopping Block) and a little fresh basil just screams summer on a plate.


This is indeed a go-to summer lunch.


Most importantly, try not to store tomatoes in the refrigerator. Harold McGee in his book On Food and Cooking explains that refrigerating tomatoes damages the membranes inside the fruit walls, causing the tomato to lose flavor and develop the mealy texture.


Whether you are looking to plant your own tomatoes next year or just read more about some heirloom tomato varieties that are out there, take my advice and try one of these four ways to enjoy tomatoes before it is too late!

Here are the upcoming Date Night classes featuring those delicious Fried Green Tomatoes:

Saturday, July 25 7pm Lincoln Square

Friday, July 31 6pm Merchandise Mart


Topics: tomatoes, Ingredients

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