It doesn’t matter how sunny it might be right now, it takes a month or so of that much heat to get most tomatoes to that perfect, juice-dripping ripeness we all crave. But until then, look for little grape or cherry tomatoes. They’re smaller, so they ripen earlier and they are bred to be high in sugar. Late-summer flavor without a long wait.
How to choose: Tomatoes should be vibrantly colored with taut, shiny skin. There should be no soft or wrinkly spots.
How to store: Never refrigerate tomatoes -- it kills the flavor. Keep them at room temperature, lightly wrapped if you prefer.
How to prepare: Grape tomatoes are best used split in half in salads, so you can still appreciate the burst of flavor from their thick skins. To make a quick just-back-from-the-market lunch, cut the tomatoes in quarters and put them in a serving bowl with some minced garlic, a little olive oil and just a splash of red wine vinegar. Season until sharp with salt and black pepper and then toss some freshly cooked spaghetti on top. Give it a second to warm through, then stir to combine.