What’s in season: Varieties of heirloom and other tomatoes are showing up at a number of markets. Though the quality of supermarket tomatoes continues to improve, it’s still hard to beat the flavor offered by local farmers at various stands, with colorful fruit in all shapes and sizes, and names such as Celebrity, Early Girl and Mountain Magic. You can also find small cherry tomatoes, including vibrant orange-yellow Sun Gold. The fruit is generally available throughout summer and early fall.
What to cook: Perhaps the most satisfying way to enjoy a tomato is sliced into wedges and sprinkled with good salt and not a little olive oil. Depending on the type and size, try tossing tomatoes into salads or baking them into savory galettes. Purée them as part of a gazpacho or tomato soup, or simmer the fruit slowly to bring out its natural sweetness in a classic marinara sauce. If you’re looking to build a simple sandwich, try sliced tomatoes between pieces of good bread and some mayonnaise. For more ideas, check with the farmer for flavor characteristics and how best to use the tomatoes.
What’s on the horizon: More melons are coming into season, with varieties including sweet, fragrant Ogen melons and creamy, small Sugar Cube melons.