Juicy, acidic and sun-warmed sweet, a perfect summer tomato is a blessing. (A less perfect tomato is fine, if a little dull; a wan out-of-season tomato is to be avoided.) I eat tomatoes every day in August, sometimes at every meal.
That’s why it’s Tomato Week here at Five Weeknight Dishes, with recipes that feature tomatoes: I can hardly think of anything else. Next week, the newsletter will be devoted to zucchini, and then finally we’ll turn to corn, the golden queen of late summer. If it’s a no on tomatoes, here’s a collection of easy summer dinner recipes to browse. Something for everyone!
Write me at [email protected] to tell me what you think and what you’re cooking. And if you’re in the New York area, Eric Kim is appearing at the Grow NYC booth at the Union Square Greenmarket on Wednesday, Aug. 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eric will show you how to make his easy and popular furikake tomato sandwich at 11 a.m. and noon, and he’ll be there to say hello and answer questions in between.
The best way to showcase the flavor of prime summer tomatoes is to cook them as minimally as possible, if at all. They’re grated into a juicy heap in the chef Ham El-Waylly’s new pasta recipe, then barely simmered for a few minutes before a toss with spaghetti.
Ali Slagle is forever looking for ways to make simple cooking even simpler. Take this chicken recipe, which is built on the principle that all you need to season a bed of sweet corn and tomatoes are the drippings from hot grilled chicken. She calls it “a no-effort warm dressing.” I call it delicious. Vary the spices on the chicken however you like.
Tomatoes and rice are a combination you see across cuisines, but not in quite the way Hetty Lui McKinnon cooks with them here: stir-fried into a jammy, sweet-and-savory meal, which gets a little smoky from the pan. I love this one, and I had it for lunch just the other day.