In her new cookbook, Joy Howard celebrates all things red, green, and yellow as well as round in Tomato Love 44 Mouthwatering Recipes for Salads, Sauces, Stews, and More Storey 2022; $14.95). Each of the recipes is accompanied with a color photo which I like as it’s then easy to see what the dish will look like. The book is great for this time of year when tomatoes are in season. But Howard also shares recipes for cooking with what she describes as pantry tomatoes—those that use products such as canned, boxed, or bottled tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, ketchup, and tomato paste.
About the Author
JOY HOWARD is a cookbook author, food stylist, and recipe developer. She writes a regular column about cooking with kids for EatingWell magazine, is the author of Disney Eats (Disney Publishing), and her work has appeared in numerous magazines, cookbooks, and national advertising campaigns. She got her start in food media as a magazine editor producing recipes and culinary content for home cooks and ran a test kitchen for many years. She lives in New England with her husband and daughters.
Tomato and Peach Panzanella
- 2 pita bread rounds, halved and cut into one inch wide strips
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 mixed tomatoes (the author recommends cherry and small heirlooms), halved or sliced into wedges
- 3 ripe peaches, peeled and sliced into wedges
- 1/4 cup sliced red onion
- 2 ounce smoked fresh mozzarella, turn into bite-sized pieces (unsmoked fresh mozzarella can be used as well)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 8 large basil leaves, roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Arrange the pita rounds evenly on a baking sheet. Brush them with one tablespoon of the olive oil and season lightly with salt. Bake for about 8 minutes or until golden, flipping once.
Whisk together the vinegar and mustard in a large bowl. Vigorously whisk in the remaining 5 tablespoons of oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the tomatoes, peaches, onion, mozzarella, parsley, and basil to the bowl and toss to coat. Break the bread into smaller pieces, scatter them into the bowl and toss the salad once more.
Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato Kebabs
Creamy Chipotle Dip
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 chipotle chili, roughly chopped
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 garlic clove, grated,
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- One half 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 4 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro
- 24 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 12 strips cooked thick cut bacon each broken into four pieces
- 3 leaves iceberg or green leaf lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
To make the dip, place the yogurt, mayonnaise, chili, lime juice, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and cilantro in a small bowl. Use an immersion blender if you have one to blend. Otherwise just mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To assemble each kebab, thread a tomato half, cut side up, onto a toothpick. Stack two bacon pieces and a few lettuce pieces on top, then thread on another tomato half cut side down. Place on a platter or plate. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Serve the kebabs with the dip on the side.
Joy Howard’s Tomato Tips
Say no to overripe fruit
Food waste is real, and it can be a challenge to overcome it at the height of the summer fruit and veggie haul when you may have more than you can handle. But mushy tomatoes make for a very sad salad. Note: They can be used for soup, stews, and salsas,
Consider the cut of your tomato
There’s nothing wrong with a fork and knife salad, but if everything else in the bowl is bite-size, then your tomatoes should be too! Having to slice through oversized wedges makes eating cumbersome and less enjoyable if it’s the only thing on your plate that requires that sort of attention. Thick slices are fine for, say, a caprese salad, but if you’re making a chopped salad, dice those tomatoes as well (or halve them if they’re small) — and maybe even seed them.
Don’t skip seasoning
A dash of salt can go a long way in making the flavor of your tomatoes pop and should always be a part of any salad.
Mix them up.
Who says a salad can only have one type of tomato? Using more than one variety gives you the opportunity to showcase a multitude of tomato flavors and textures in a single salad.
Add herbs, herbs, and more herbs.
Part of the beauty (read: deliciousness) of tomatoes is their versatility in terms of pairings. This is especially true when it comes to herbs. Basil, parsley, and cilantro are obvious choices, but thyme, oregano, and mint are all good options too (you can also use more than one). Aside from adding more flavor, herbs help balance the umami notes of the tomatoes. I have a strong preference for using fresh herbs, but dried will also work in a pinch.