Red ones, orange ones, yellow ones, green ones, blue ones, purple ones, even black and white ones—a complete rainbow of tomatoes are coming into season right now, and we are quite lucky for it.
The heirloom tomato is perhaps the most versatile fruit on the planet. Some are sweet enough to be eaten right off the vine like candy; others are sour and do well fermenting in jars with peppers. There are ones bigger than a fist, and some the size of a fingernail. And don’t even get started on the multicolored zebra-striped ones—those are a different animal all together.
What to do with the abundance of tomatoes, though? Aside from putting them on every sandwich, every pasta, every pizza and every salad, there are plenty of ways to keep the magic of tomato season going beyond the month of September. How about drying them in the oven at 170 degrees? Ferment them in a jar with vinegar and chiles for a killer hot sauce? Blend them with Worcestershire and spices for bloody Mary mix? Or with chiles and cilantro for salsa? Tomato jam is a sweet treat from the cupboard. Or get inspired at the Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival Sept. 27 in Fulton—almost 200 kinds of tomato are available to sample, and top-tier chefs will prepare special dishes featuring the most versatile of fruits.