When buying tomatoes, look for ones that have a distinct tomato aroma. Depending on the variety, they can be tautly firm or give slightly – either way, make sure that they are not bruised or with soft spots. Don’t worry about seams or discoloration.
If a tomato has already started the ripening process – if the green background is giving way to a yellow – it can continue to ripen at home. Do not refrigerate tomatoes since the cold air destroys their taste. Unless they are cherry and/or grape tomatoes, don’t stack them on top of one another. Store on the counter or in a shallow basket, stem end down.
To make raw tomato dishes less watery all you have to is to chop the tomatoes, transfer them into a footed colander, sprinkle with coarse salt and toss. Allow them to drain up to an hour, and use as desired.
Season chopped tomatoes with fresh-ground black pepper, fresh garlic or herbs. Spoon over grilled fish or meat, or place them in a bowl with fresh ricotta or mozzarella cubes and toss with hot pasta.
Sliced Tomatoes with Cilantro Vinaigrette
Ingredients : 4 medium tomatoes; 1/2 cup fresh cilantro; 1/2 cup olive oil; 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar; salt pepper and sugar to taste
Method : Clean and slice tomatoes and place in a serving bowl. In a food processor, mince the fresh cilantro and add the olive oil in a steady stream until blended. Add Balsamic vinager to the cilantro-oil mixture and blend. Season and pour over tomato slices and serve.
Stuffed Tomatoes and Bell Peppers with Rice Salad
Ingredients : 4 large tomatoes; 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill; fresh parsley; fresh herbs; salt and pepper to taste; 2 yellow bell peppers; 2 green bell peppers; 2 cups rice; 1/4 cup extra-virgin Greek olive oil; 1 cup finely sliced spring onions; 1/2 cup raisins; 1/3 cup sliced dried apricots; 1/3 cup pinenuts
Method : Slice off the top of the tomatoes. Remove the pulp and seeds. Slice the stem off the peppers and cut seeds away. Place the tomatoes and peppers under the grill for 2-3 minutes. For salad, mix rice with remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool. Spoon mixture into tomatoes and peppers and serve
Different ways to enjoy tomatoes
• Use them as a topping for crostini or brushetta
• Use them in an antipasta with a few good olives, ham, cheese, greens and some crusty bread
• Warm goats cheese, with chopped slow roasted tomatoes with a sprinkle of pine nuts and pesto is great
• In a sandwich with some crisp bacon and herbed mayonnaise, these tomatoes are hard to beat
• In a salad with rocket, corn grilled red onions and a light vinaigrette
• Serve with grilled chicken and grilled shrimp
• Use as a sauce for pasta, like in a puttanesca by adding capers, olives and anchovies
• Use as a filling in omelets, frittatas, and crepes with finely chopped roasted tomatoes and bold cheeses and herbs.