Summer Fest!


summerfest-badgeYes Yes and YES!  We’re on Week 4 of our Summer Fest and can I tell you how jazzed I am to be featuring tomatoes? I’ve written so much about them before so I won’t tell you how I’m a freak for them, alrighty? For me it’s just not summer without them.

I think the biggest attraction I have with summer tomatoes, heirlooms to be specific, is that there’s not a lot that needs to be done to them. They’re excellent as is and with minimal prep. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with them because you certainly can. Here are ten of my favorite things to do with summer tomatoes.

1) Sliced and drizzled with olive oil, sea salt, maybe some shavings of really awesome Pecorino? Hell to the yes.

2) In a Roasted Tomato Bloody Mary.

3) Chopped with garlic, olive oil, basil and shallots for bruschetta.

4) Sliced and SLATHERED with mayo on really good bread. I SAID SLATHERED.

5) Made into a nice chilly sorbet!

6) Pop them in my mouth like there’s no tomorrow (provided they are the lil ones).

7) Grated and tossed with pasta, olive oil and lemon juice for a quick no-cook sauce.

8)  Chopped in a bowl and sprinkled with nuoc mam (this makes my eyes roll back into my head I’m telling you).

9) Heirloom & Fennel Soup that’s raw and chilly and perfect on a hot day.

10) Look at them and weep tears of happiness.


This is the last week of Summer Fest and I can’t thank you everyone enough for the participation! I’ve been so inspired with all the amazing ideas for using all these amazing fruits and vegetables that summer brings us. Leave your suggestions in the comments and make sure to check out what our other Summer Fest Hosts have been doing with tomatoes!

• Margaret’s making Quick Tomato Sauce, Ever So Slowly

• White On Rice Couple are doing Tomato Jam and Preserves with an entire cast of cute kids and Sierra, my girlfriend.

• Paige gives us her Curried Carrot & Tomato Soup and I can taste that marvelous combo already

• Jaden and her delicious Caprese Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

• Marilyn’s — wait for it, wait — Upside Down Tomato Bread. I think I just saw Heaven.

• Shauna makes a mouthwatering Smoked Tomato Salsa


  1. says

    Matt, fresh vine ripened tomatoes are delicious just about any way you can serve them.

    My hands down favorite pasta sauce in the summer is this no cook one that when mixed with hot pasta just explodes with flavor.

    And we all love our salads in the summer especially when gorgeous tomatoes are everywhere! Here is my easy Heirloom Tomato Salad With Goat Cheese Crumbles at


  2. Pamela Levis says

    I love them “slathered” in blue cheese dressing with crumbles of blue cheese on top.

  3. says

    Matt, I have just discovered your blog, and I think I have gone to food and photography heaven. Really, truly, your photos are amazing. Breathtaking. I am so inspired and excited. I looked at our whole site. I love your portfolio. It was especially fun to see places and people I know: Number 9, and my apple man from the Sunday farmers market. I am so excited that I found your stuff! I dream of one day attending one of your photo workshops..until then I’ll just look here and learn.
    I love all these recipes. Here is one from me–a no peel, cherry tomato pasta sauce that is so fresh, easy and good, you’ll make extra to freeze and eat it all winter long!

  4. says

    I may have mentioned this before, but one of the best Bloody Mary’s I’ve ever had was made with mint infused vodka, fresh tomato juice (right from the garden) lemon and pickled dilly beans. So refreshing and nice.

    I love tomatoes any way. Here’s my contribution – Tomato Peach Salad

  5. says

    Outside the obviously call-me Bloody Mary, I’ll take tears of joy, thank you. I am so sad when good tomatoes disappear and leave us with mealy pink zombies!

    And why are you so graphically gifted? Everything here is just beautiful.

  6. says

    Don’t forget roasted tomatoes! Slow-roasted tomatoes. Sometimes I add them to pesto, sometimes I eat them w/ mozzarella and drizzled with olive oil and basil. Other times I add them to pasta as a “sauce” because the flavor is so intense! I also bake them w/ zucchini. Happy Summer Fest!

  7. says

    Sadly my tomato plants JUST started to flower – so I’ll be lucky if I get a few by the end of September. However the farmer’s markets have had some lovely grape and cherry tomatoes lately and they’re just delicious with salt, pepper and a teensy drizzle of olive oil. Nothing is finer than a fresh Jersey tomato.

  8. says

    I’ve spent this summer fussing and fretting over a jungle of 50 tomato plants. I’ve enjoyed flavour packed Sungolds that drip off every truss and am waiting impatiently for the jurassic looking Carbons to spin through the colour wheel from green to plumblack.
    So everyone’s recipes are a wonderful glut gift.
    My post is a variant on a Jamie Oliver tomato salad. He calls his the Mothership Salad so I’ve called mine the Satellite Salad.

  9. says

    i’m with everyone else, the roasted bloody mary sounds amazing! all these ideas to. and i really really love the opening graphic. sigh. we’re equally obsessed about tomatoes. this time last year i had a post dedicated to ways to pay homage to heirloom tomatoes too, but…

    this year, with tomato season being less than perfect, i think this is the recipe i’d like to submit for summerfest. it coaxes the best out of even less than perfect tomatoes with a little trick–a quick vinegar soak.

  10. says

    I think I could live off of heirloom tomatoes… and I completely agree that they are best served raw. Do you believe that I hated tomatoes up until last year? That was when I discovered the deliciousness that is our local Tennessee heirloom tomatoes.

    Needless to say we’ve been cooking a lot of them lately, but this recipe really stood out:
    Panzanella, with fresh local heirloom tomatoes, basil, and cucumber, it’s like summer on a slice of bread. Yum!

  11. says

    I made the classic today…. gazpacho!! added a little smoked paprika for depth… so good… and just baked up a fluffy and creamy apricot bread pudding.. going to be great in the AM with my coffee!

  12. says

    I do a recipe that I cannot remember the link for but I did read it on some blog so I cannot take all the credit but here goes….using grape or cherry tomatoes I layer with mozzarella slices and basil slices onto a stick like a brochette and then we eat it either in one bite if it is on a toothpick or as if we are eating corn if it is on a larger stick… time tho I use Jaden’s vinaigrette

  13. says

    Thanks for giving me something better to do than write the article I’m supposed to be writing right now. Just thanks a lot. No really.

    To add a couple more to your list, I made a roasted cherry tomato clafoutis – – but my favourite tomato thing this year was a roasted Roma tomato and goat cheese Tarte Tatin.

  14. Diana says

    i loveeeeeee tomatoes especially if that nuoc mam is garlicky & spicey (with a touch of tang)! yummm!! <3

  15. says

    ah, wonderful ideas and a fantastic cover photo.
    love them simply drizzled with olive oil, sea salt, and fresh oregano and basil from the garden; add in fresh mozzarella and you have a traditional Caprese. Slowly roasted in the oven with garlic and an onion, then pureed, sieved, and combined with some fresh chicken or vegetable stock for a divine soup. Tossed fresh with pasta-yum! Or combined with the makings for salsa: chiles, cilantro, onions, garlic, and lime juice, or a late summer gazpacho. Oh, so much tomato goodness.

  16. Randy says

    Matt, try your chopped tomato/nuoc mam with chopped fresh cilantro. It will make you roll your eyes back into your head even more!

  17. says

    Why do you live so far away? Every single post you write makes me want to hang out with you even more!

    And that top shot? good god. I would like a poster of that on my wall to sustain me through January.


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