Herbs

How To Make Southern Tomato Pie — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

From the first bite to the last slice, tomato pie is sublime: Sharp tomatoes and savory bacon are seasoned with thyme and bathed with mayo and sharp cheese to make a humble pie that's the perfect entrée for your end-of-summer suppers and lazy weekend brunches.

I have a theory that tomato pie was created by thrifty Southern cooks who were trying to make the most of tomatoes from their backyard gardens — especially those tomatoes that weren't quite ripe enough for tomato-and-mayo sandwiches or canning. These cooks had the ingenious idea to transform these so-so tomatoes into something wildly delicious with pantry staples like mayonnaise and breadcrumbs. It also means that any home cook can master this speciality with just a few key points.

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Recipe: Fresh Tomato Blender Sauce — Quick and Easy Vegetarian Dinners

(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

It's not worth fussing too much with summer tomatoes. When they are so juicy and sweet this time of the year, it's truly hard to improve on them. That's why tomato sandwiches and caprese salads exist. That's also why this sauce exists. Slow-simmered tomato sauces are glorious, but save those for when you're trying to coax life and flavor into the canned stuff come winter. For this recipe you need to do nothing but toss the tomatoes you grabbed from the farmers market into a blender, add a little garlic, olive oil, and fresh basil, and transform the mix into the brightest, liveliest thing you can toss with pasta this summer.

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Recipe: Avocado Caprese Salad — Salad Recipes

(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

Of all the essential ways to use up ripe and juicy summer tomatoes, I'd argue that a big caprese salad deserves a spot at the top of your list. And there's one thing that's going to make this summer's caprese the best yet: creamy chunks of ripe avocado.

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Recipe: BLT Pasta Salad — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

If you're looking to take your regular pasta salad up a notch this summer, look no further than a diner classic for inspiration. Stuffed with just three ingredients and a swipe of mayo, BLTs are timeless favorite. This pasta salad takes everything you love about that irresistible sandwich and folds it into a summery side that's sure to be a hit at your next potluck.

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Recipe: Tomato Tarte Tatin — Quick and Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Image credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani)

This is your summer showstopper. It's so pretty to look at that it's guaranteed to receive applause at the table. It's even better to eat, of course. Tomatoes — the true gems of the season — are the focus here. No cheese or aromatics like garlic and onions stand in their way. Instead, their juicy, rich flavor stands freely on its own in this savory twist on a tarte tatin, a classic French caramelized, upside-down pastry that's most often made with apples for dessert. A touch of balsamic vinegar and honey help caramelize the tomatoes in this take, while coaxing out their inherent sweetness, and just a touch of fresh thyme gilds the lily. All this atop a buttery, flaky puff pastry crust — it's no wonder this recipe will be a crowd-pleaser.

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Recipe: Brown Butter Parmesan Pasta — Quick and Easy Vegetarian Dinners

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

There is something eternally satisfying and soothing about buttered pasta. Toss warm strands of spaghetti with a pat of rich butter and a sprinkle of grated Parm and you've got an ultra-comforting meal that comes together in minutes. Use that as inspiration, then up the ante with nutty brown butter, golden toasted panko, and a double dose of cheese and you've got a comforting dish that's fancy enough for when friends pop over.

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