Tomato Mode

Fresh summer tomatoes lend themselves beautifully to some exceptional no-cook and low-cook meals.

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By Emily Weinstein

I’m in full tomato mode, a phrase I saw tweeted this week by the excellent New York magazine food reporter Chris Crowley that tracks closely with my current state of mind. I’m going wild at the market, buying all manner of tomatoes, arranging them on my counter with reverence and then eating them as though I’ve joined a religious order devoted to this one particular, highly seasonal food.

I make Caprese salad, corn and tomato salad, salad-e Shirazi, pasta with marinated tomatoes, tomato sandwiches fortified with a thick layer of mayo. I saw that Ina Garten posted a tomato salad with blue cheese on Instagram, a combination that I haven’t had in a long time and one I’ll try this week. (She said she buys a rotisserie chicken to go with it, and dinner is ready. If Ina does it, so should you.) I’ll also be making sauce moyo to have with grilled fish. And gazpacho. And look at this gorgeous tomato tart, and this paneer con tomate. I am a tomato monster. I will not be stopped.

Tell me how you use summer tomatoes, and you may turn up in a future newsletter; I’m [email protected], and I love to hear what you’re cooking.

1. Cold Noodles With Tomatoes

I was entranced by a TikTok of Eric Kim making his recipe for refreshing, juicy, highly slurpable noodles, inspired by naengmyeon and oi naengguk, the chilled Korean soups. Can’t you imagine eating this on a 95-degree day and just collapsing into deep happiness? I can.

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2. Baked Greek Shrimp With Tomatoes and Feta

David Tanis is one of the great tomato artists of New York Times Cooking. He easily has a dozen excellent tomato recipes in the database, including this fan favorite — a traditional Greek dish. Don’t tell him I told you that you could skip blanching and peeling the tomatoes in Step 2. Just cut fresh ones into wedges and be on your way.

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3. Tomato Salad With Chickpeas and Feta

I was looking around for different tomato-bean salad ideas the other day, as I made a grocery list for heat-wave meals that would barely use the stove and definitely not use the oven. (Lots of canned tuna and tofu on that list.) And there it was: This dish from Hetty McKinnon, which she tops with nuts and seeds for mix-and-match crunch. I’ll be making it this week.

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4. Parmesan Chicken Breast With Tomato and Herb Salad

Sometimes you want crispy chicken with your tomatoes. And here we are: a crowd-pleasing recipe from Sarah Copeland. She starts the chicken on the stove and then moves it to the oven for a few minutes, but if you cut the pieces smaller you should be able to cook them entirely on the stove. And you can just buy shredded Parm. Shortcuts are necessary in weather like this.

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5. Spiced Grilled Halloumi

While I love this simple Ali Slagle recipe exactly as written (delicious), I have also seared the halloumi in a cast-iron pan instead of grilling it (also delicious) and seasoned it with jarred za’atar rather than making a spice blend (though that’s not hard to do, and is obviously delicious). It’s great with bread or farro.

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