Nothing tastes better than a fresh tomato right from the garden or farmers market, and now’s the perfect time of year to indulge.
The varieties of tomatoes are almost endless, available in different shapes, sizes and colors. Beefsteak tomatoes are substantial in size and perfect for frying and baking. Green tomatoes are perfect for salsas, relishes and broiling. Smaller varieties include cherry, grape, vine-ripened and yellow pear. Vine-ripened tomatoes, as their name suggests, have ripened on the vine.
If you see tomatoes labeled “heirloom,” it generally means the variety is very old; the seeds are often 50-plus years old, if you can believe it! They have been protected and kept in their original state in a particular region
For this recipe, I’m using Roma tomatoes; they’re meatier, less seedy and perfect for cooking up into a thick red sauce. Although peeling tomatoes is not necessary to make a tomato sauce, it does remove their tough skin, leaving the sauce smooth. Peeling may seem intimidating, but it’s not. Make a crisscross slit at the top of the tomato, add them to boiling water for 30 seconds, quickly cool them, then push back the skin starting at the top where you made the slits.