Fresh Tomato Recipes: For Summer & Beyond
by HexClad Cookware
Ahhhh, late summer. A time for home cooks to try exciting new flavors, for slow days in the sun or on the water, and, of course: for peak tomato season. Here at HexClad, we wait all year for these few sweet weeks when juicy ripe tomatoes can be picked and eaten straight off the vine.
Whether you’ve been growing your own tomatoes this summer or seeking them out at the farmers market or your local shop, this is the time to enjoy them at their finest.
There is no shortage of tomato varieties to explore or of ways to enjoy them. Mix and match tomatoes with other fresh seasonal ingredients, make them the star player in a light and summery meal, or incorporate them into refreshing midday snacks and side dishes.
Really, a better question would be what can’t you do with summer tomatoes?
The endless possibilities are almost overwhelming, but don’t worry. We come bearing inspiration with 15 fresh recipes to enjoy this summer and beyond.
15 Delicious Fresh Tomato Recipes to Try
Tomatoes have a slightly sweet, slightly tangy balanced flavor that go well with just about any other ingredients. Peak harvest time for these veggie-like fruits typically lasts from late July through early October, so now is the time to experiment with this nutrient and flavor-packed food to your heart’s content.
Not sure where to start? Read on for fifteen of our favorite tomato recipes at HexClad.
1. Tomato Gazpacho
We love summer, but sometimes it is just too hot. When it feels like you’re practically swimming through the humid air and the kitchen is beyond sweltering, the last thing you want to do is stand over a hot oven or eat a hot meal.
On those days, nothing hits the spot like a cold and light soup. Enter tomato gazpacho: a chilled, easy, flavorful dish with minimal cooking time.
Originating in Seville, Spain, tomato gazpacho combines the freshest ingredients of the season in one refreshing bowl. Rich and tangy Roma tomatoes are the building blocks for this gazpacho, working as an emulsifier to help the olive oil mix with the other ingredients to form a smooth and creamy consistency.
You can include fresh peppers, cucumbers, onions, and garlic to create a well-balanced dish bursting with summer flavor.
Whip up tomato gazpacho in a blender or with a hand blender and a deep, lightweight bowl like a HexClad mixing bowl. Simply blend the veggies on high speed until smooth, and then slowly drizzle in the olive oil as you continue to blend. Within minutes, you’ll have a bright and creamy soup — without breaking a sweat.
2. Orzo and Homemade Tomato Sauce
A short rice-shaped type of pasta, orzo, and tomato sauce is an easy dish that puts a spin on an Italian classic. All you’ll need for the sauce are tomatoes, garlic, onions, salt, and pepper — and, of course, feel free to incorporate any of your favorite herbs.
Here at HexClad, we love deepening the flavor of tomato sauce with a dash of oregano, basil, or pepper flakes.
We recommend using Roma tomatoes, also known as plum tomatoes, for this one. Long and oval-shaped, these tomatoes shine in a tomato sauce.
With a thick flavor and dense texture, Roma tomatoes are “meaty,” with fewer seeds, and more of the tasty pulp that gives sauces their thick and delicious consistency. We love how the tomato sauce fully coats the short-cut orzo, allowing the mouthwatering flavors to come through in every bite.
This dish comes together quickly, making it perfect for a quick lunch or feeding the entire fam on a busy weeknight. Two small saucepans are all the cookware this recipe requires — one to boil the orzo in and the other to simmer the sauce. With HexClad’s nonstick and dishwasher-safe pots, cleaning up after this low-mess-high-reward dish is easy as pie.
3. Sockeye Salmon With Summer Succotash
On a warm summer day, you’re sure to love our Sockeye Salmon with Summer Succotash. Created by Chef Gary Nguyen, this is a light and nutrient-rich meal perfect for backyard dinners or lowkey get-togethers.
This colorful dish combines rich and fresh notes from the salmon, tomato sauce, zucchini, peppers, spices, and heirloom tomato — creating a well-balanced meal filled with varied textures and explosive flavor.
Heirloom tomatoes add character to this dish with their bright colors (ranging from yellow to green to red), funky shape, and juicy interior. Heirlooms are unique because their seeds are passed down from season to season. They are usually open-pollinated naturally, by birds and insects, giving each tomato a unique flavor.
The hybrid technology of the 12” Hybrid HexClad Skillet is ideal for this dish, as it combines the benefits of stainless steel and cast iron pans in one attractive piece of cookware.
The stainless steel peaks in our hexagonal cookware design provide the ideal surface for Maillard browning. This chemical process will aid you in searing your salmon filets to achieve the perfect golden brown crust.
And no need to worry about the salmon or the veggies sticking to the hot pan, as the valleys of our hexagonal design provide a non-stick surface. You’ll have a complete and bright dish that is sure to become one of your summer go-to's in no time.
4. Southwestern Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad
A colorful array of juicy and fresh ripe tomatoes just scream summer, but so does buttery sweet corn hot off the grill. Luckily, you don’t have to choose between these two in-season goodies. You can experience the best of both with the ultimate blend of summer flavors found in Southwestern Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad.
Fresh and zesty, this salad can serve as the perfect side dish for your final BBQs of the season, dipping sauce for tortilla chips, or an easy way to kick your next quesadilla or taco night up a notch.
Along with the corn and tomatoes — our star ingredients — this dish also incorporates red peppers and chili lime dressing. You can even add bacon for an extra hint of smokiness (although the charred corn already brings plenty of smokey goodness to the party).
Add in avocado for its smooth and creamy flavor, crushed tortilla chips for a little crunch, or jalapeño peppers to spice it up. You have no end of options.
Our skillet is the perfect tool to char your corn to crispy perfection on a stovetop, creating complex flavors. This flavor transformation is thanks to the pigment molecules known as melanoidins, which form during the chemical process that causes foods to darken in color when exposed to high temperatures.
For this recipe, you can’t go wrong with a colorful collection of diced heirloom tomatoes or halved sweet cherry tomatoes. Either kind will provide an alluring sweet flavor and a dynamic mix of rainbow-bright colors.
5. Stuffed Roasted Tomatoes
When you have an assortment of ingredients in your fridge that you’re hoping to use up, there is a good chance most of them will go well with stuffed roasted tomatoes.
Typically stuffed with herbs and breadcrumbs, garlic and cheese, or rice and meat, this versatile dish can serve as your main meal or act as a quick side for just about whatever you are in the mood for. You can even enjoy them along with fried eggs for the ideal sweet and salty breakfast to stay fueled throughout the day.
A HexClad paring knife and serrated knife will help you core and halve your tomatoes, readying them for stuffing and roasting. Uniformly shaped, evenly rounded, and medium-sized tomatoes with a firm exterior will do the best job holding your stuffing in place. We find that tomatoes on the vine are best up to the task.
Once you scoop out the pulp of your tomatoes, you can spoon in the stuffing of your choice and bake using a Hexclad skillet — all of which are oven safe. Our pans can help ensure an even and uniform browning of each tomato and its contents.
Your tomatoes should be tender and stuffing cooked through after about 30 minutes, and then it is time to enjoy. Buon appetito!
6. Homemade Skillet Cornbread Topped With Roasted Tomatoes
Cornbread is a classic and cozy cold-weather food, but a few simple adjustments make this sweet and fluffy favorite as summer-ready as we are. The main adjustment: add tomatoes.
Thin sliced tomatoes and basil add a new batch of flavor compounds to well-loved cornbread. Savory and sweet all at once, this spunky dish can pair with a salad or salmon at dinner, eggs, and bacon for a full-flavored breakfast, or you can enjoy it all on its own as a midday treat.
Cooking this Roasted Tomatoes Skillet Cornbread in a HexClad heat-retaining skillet will give it a wonderfully crisp, buttery crust, turning the exterior of the cornbread an appealing brown color that adds flavor due to the chemical process of browning reactions — all while the inside stays moist and fluffy.
To bring the classic cornbread to the next level, add thinly sliced colorful heirloom tomatoes (the HexClad serrated knife can help you slice these fleshy fruits without squishing them), basil, and parmesan cheese if desired.
Simply pour your cornbread batter into a preheated skillet, and arrange tomato slices on top (pro tip: pat-drying your tomatoes with a paper towel will help reduce moisture to ensure the tomatoes turn crisp as they cook).
Sprinkle with parmesan, and bake until cooked through and slightly browned.
When presented at the table, your guests will love the color and crisp the tomatoes provide, along with the summery, savory taste. We hope you made enough for seconds.
7. Cherry Tomato and Feta Omelet
Whether you’re leaning into the Mediterranean lifestyle this season or looking to stir up something a little different, this dish will check off all your boxes with pazazz.
Ideal for brunch on a slow morning or a quick bite before work, you can whip up a fluffy and flavor-packed tomato omelet with ease. The small and snackable cherry tomatoes are sweeter than most, with an irresistible crisp exterior and juicy interior that will liven up your omelet.
We recommend grabbing a few extra cherry tomatoes to pop straight in your mouth as you prep — trying to avoid the temptation just isn’t worth it.
The tangy and salty taste of feta cheese pairs wonderfully with the sweetness and slight acidity of the cherry tomatoes, and a few fresh summer herbs such as basil and mint can enhance the flavor profile even further.
8. Pepperoni Pan Pizza
Chef Daniele Uditi’s Pepperoni Pan Pizza is an easy-to-personalize dish that is sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike. Incorporating homemade and hand-crushed tomato sauce, you can make this delectable meal with love for your next date night, family movie night, or as a treat for yourself. You know you deserve it.
A well-oiled 10" HexClad Hybrid Pan will give your dough the perfect amount of crisp as it bakes — producing a golden-brown crust that is almost too beautiful to eat (the key word here being almost).
This pepperoni pan pizza makes good use of traditional San Marzano tomatoes. Thin and pointy, these classy tomatoes have thick flesh and even fewer seeds than Roma tomatoes. They are also richer, sweeter, and less acidic than similar-sized tomatoes, making a delicious pizza sauce that compliments the salty and crispy pepperoni.
As for additional toppings, let your creativity lead the way. Stick with classic pepperoni, use jalapeno and chorizo for a Mexican twist, replace pepperoni with feta and black onions for a vegetarian-friendly option, or — for you adventurous pizza eaters — add ham and pineapple.
9. Fresh Tomato Bruschetta
On a slow day spent swinging in the hammock, lounging at the pool, or simply enjoying time outside with friends and loved ones, may we suggest inviting fresh tomato bruschetta to the hang?
Much of the bruschetta-making process is hands-off, leaving you plenty of time to soak up the sun or lounge away in the afternoon. Simply chop your Roma tomatoes with a chef's knife, place them in a colander, sprinkle with a generous handful of salt, and let drain.
The longer the tomatoes drain, the better, so go enjoy yourself. After at least two hours, you can incorporate fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, or even capers into the mix and combine in a medium mixing bowl. Arrange toasted baguette slices on a platter and add a heaping amount of tomato mixture to each one.
Because Roma tomatoes already have less water content and more chewy pulp than other tomatoes, they are the perfect candidates for this dish. The combination of the soft and rich tomato topping with the crisp garlic bread make for an irresistible taste to keep you enjoying bite after bite.
10. Tomato Basil Pasta
If you still have Roma tomatoes on hand, tomato basil pasta is another delicious way to enjoy them. This classic Italian dish features one of the summer’s hottest pairings: tomato and basil.
If you garden, you likely know that these tomatoes and basil plants grow incredibly well together, and their symbiotic relationship continues to shine through even after they are harvested. Aromatically, these two flavors just work, creating a humble and fresh flavor profile that can’t go wrong.
You can chop and crush your Roma tomatoes to create a semi-chunky sauce, and simmer your tomatoes in a HexClad saucepan to get the consistency just right. This sauce works with just about any pasta shape. Tubular pasta shapes like penne or ziti are great at holding chunky sauces, while spaghetti is always on point.
The dynamic flavor profile of the tomato and basil are enough to carry this dish on their own, but you can also add pepper flakes, feta, or parmesan for a little extra something-something.
11. Fresh Pico De Gallo
This popular Mexican salsa typically uses equal parts Roma tomatoes and onions, along with a dash of fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lemon juice. This no-cook dish is quick and refreshing, requiring only the ingredients, a mixing bowl, and a spoon to bring to life.
Also known as Salsa Fresca or Salsa Cruda, it’s a tangy salsa that is ideal for dunking chips, garnishing meats, or heaping atop your favorite tacos.
Along with the bright flavor that comes from using fresh ingredients, another perk of homemade pico is you can easily craft it to fit your taste. Adding more tomato than onion will create a sweeter salsa, while slicing in a jalapeño can give it an extra kick. You can also incorporate a favorite fruit such as peach, mango, or pineapple for an even deeper summer flavor.
You’ll want to dice your ingredients with a sharp chef's knife and mix in a non-reactive bowl like those found in our Signature Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set. This will avoid any risk of a chemical reaction occurring between the chemicals in the food and those in the bowl, which can mess with the taste, aroma, and texture of the ingredients.
Certain metals are particularly prone to reacting with acidic foods such as tomatoes and lime juice, making a non-reactive material such as stainless steel all the more vital when it comes to stirring up pico de gallo.
Once the ingredients are all combined, we suggest letting the pico rest to allow the flavors to meld together. All of our HexClad mixing bowls come with vacuum-sealing silicone lids. Cover and place them straight in the fridge to rest for a day — no transfer or added cleanup required.
12. Roasted Tomatoes, Peppers, and Chicken
A healthy and comforting dinner, this dish is sure to please. To cook the roasted tomatoes, peppers, and cut of meat, you can roast them all in the same large oven-safe skillet. We’ll never turn down the chance to create less mess and give flavors a chance to blend as they cook.
The Maillard reaction will work its magic as the chicken and veggies bake. This chemical reaction — which was first discovered by the French chemist Louis-Camille Maillard — occurs when the amino acids found in proteins and reducing sugars react together in high heat and low moisture. This form of non-enzymatic browning can transform the color and flavor of foods and enrich their aromas.
Roasted cherry tomatoes are the crown jewels of this feel-good meal. As the Maillard reaction takes place in the oven, the process will bring out notes of umami, provide a mouth-watering tender texture, increase nutrient levels, and lead to a more concentrated flavor in these already-flavorful tiny tomatoes.
Who says food science isn’t fun?
As a final touch for this dish, we seriously encourage you to have some thick Italian bread on hand to soak up extra cooking liquid and sauce, which will be brimming in explosive flavors. Yum.
13. Homemade Fried Green Tomatoes
For most tomato dishes — or when snacking on raw tomatoes — you’ll want to use tomatoes that are as ripe as can be, but Southern-style fried green tomatoes are the exception.
This recipe relies on unripe tomatoes picked off the vine before reaching maturity and while still green (hence the name). Unripe tomatoes are firmer, more acidic, and typically have a sharper and tangier taste. While you probably wouldn’t want to bite right into one of these fellas, the crisp exterior and low water content make them ideal for frying.
Green beefsteak tomatoes are the go-to when making fried green tomatoes, as they are large, tart, and hardy. Once your tomato is sliced, you’ll want to cover each slice with flour and cornmeal, bread crumbs, or cornmeal.
Fry them up in oil (or bacon grease for a true old-fashioned fried green tomato experience) using a HexClad frying pan to get the perfect crunch. As the green tomatoes cook, they’ll lose some acidity and soften slightly, while the breaded exterior browns and crisps up.
Serve this appetizer or a late-night snack with a creamy sauce, such as honey mustard or chili sauce, for a taste of pure bliss.
14. Pan-Fried Chicken With Seared Tomatoes
Fried chicken needs no introduction. A classic comfort food, this tender, crispy meal is easy to love. Add nutrient-rich fresh seared cherry tomatoes to the mix, and you have a recipe for a good, good night.
Searing these tomatoes on the stovetop helps enhance their sweetness and deepen their color for a visually dynamic dish. You’ll want to keep the tomatoes over the flame until they look ready to burst, ensuring an explosion of flavor with every juicy bite.
You can fry the chicken in any neutral oil with a high smoke point. For a vegetarian option, crispy fried tofu pairs wonderfully with the rich cherry tomatoes.
Make sure you use a large enough skillet (stainless steel, not a cast-iron skillet) to avoid overcrowding, which can keep the ingredients from reaching their full browning potential. We recommend the HexClad Deep Saute Pan for that perfect golden-brown sear.
15. Sicilian Salmon With Garlic Broccoli and Tomatoes
Another wonderfully light dish for a warm summer night, our single-skillet salmon dish is brimming with color and nutrients for those busy nights when you need a pop of healthy color to elevate your mood.
By rubbing the salmon in olive oil and lemon juice before searing in your 12” HexClad skillet, the acidity from the lemon juice will help make the filet nice and tender while also adding a zest of flavor as the skillet provides a caramelized golden crisp.
After the salmon is cooked, add a tad more oil to the skillet and toss your broccoli in, followed by the cherry tomatoes. When the tomatoes seem ready to burst, you know they are filled to the brim with sweet and vibrant juice that helps tie this dish together.
All the flavors will mingle in the skillet so that you can experience the full flavor profile of each ingredient in every bite. This beautiful dish takes less than 30 minutes to make, and after you’ve licked your plate clean, there is only a single pan to clean. Easy peasy lemon squeezy (literally and figuratively).
Get Perfectly-Cooked Tomatoes Every Time
Tomato season comes and goes fast, so you want to make sure you have everything you need to make the most of this delightful seasonal fruit. With HexClad cookware, you’ll have the right tools to experiment and enjoy these versatile fruits in any and every way you crave.
Our cookware relies on patented hybrid technology to combine the benefits of cast iron and stainless steel in a conveniently oven-safe and dishwasher-safe form, while our sleek Signature Mixing Bowl Set contains three non-reactive and lightweight bowls with silicone bases that keep the bows from slipping as you stir and crush your tomatoes.
And our Essential 6-Piece Japanese Damascus Steel Knife Set provides every tool you’ll need for precise coring, deseeding, dicing, and slicing of even the most delicate of tomatoes.
When it comes to the woefully short and sweet peak tomato season, we know you don’t want to waste even a single second of it with the wrong tools. Having HexClad cookware on hand will help you cook each tomato perfectly every time. Happy Cooking!