One of my favorite things to cook right now is pan con tomate, and it doesn’t involve much cooking at all: Grate a tomato on a box grater, season it generously with olive oil, salt and pepper (and nice vinegar if the tomato tastes a bit flat), then use it to dip and dress a thick piece of toast, rubbed with garlic.
It’s the perfect, lazy, late-summer meal, and one of the best ways to enjoy a good tomato — sweet, bright and almost meaty. I could live on ripe tomatoes for a whole week, and honestly, why not?
Monday, I’d start with Kay Chun’s tomato-marinated greens and beans on toast (above) — which turns grated tomato pulp into a summery dressing with capers, shallots and vinegar. It’s so simple, and so smart, and I bet other vegetables could play nicely here, too.
Samin Nosrat’s gazpacho, made with puréed Sungolds, is a total dream for Tuesday, finished with an oil that’s infused with basil. (And if you don’t have Sungolds, Julia Moskin’s gazpacho, made with any kind of ripe tomato, comes together in the blender in just a few minutes.)
If you’re cooking every night, and losing steam on Wednesdays, I feel you. A simple caprese can be really helpful if you need a break. Layer sliced tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and call it a day — just remember to lightly season every layer as you go with a little crunchy salt, pepper and lots of olive oil.
Or, for another salad-y night, try Sam’s tomato-watermelon salad. It’s one of those big, unfussy, no-cook dishes that’s ideal for a grumpy evening, when you’ve started cooking while already hungry, and dinner seems ages away. My suggestion: Toss in a pile of roughly chopped herbs, eat with a side of thickly cut toast.
On Friday, if I can bring myself to turn the oven on here in Los Angeles, I’m baking Yasmin Fahr’s feta with broccolini, tomatoes and lemon, which looks so, so delicious. And, well, since I’ve already got the heat on, I might as well tuck an extra tray of cherry tomatoes in there to roast off for tomorrow, when I can use it to dress pasta, or stir it into a late-morning frittata.
We’ve got thousands and thousands of recipes on NYT Cooking to help get you through the week ahead, even if you still have tomatoes left — make Eric Kim’s quick tomato muchim, or Julia’s lush tomato-chile jam! If you don’t already have a subscription, please consider it. It gives you access to all of our writing and recipes, and it also helps to support my team’s work.
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I’m really excited for the new Helen Macdonald after reading my colleague Parul Sehgal’s review, which describes it as “an antidote to so much romantic, reductive writing about the natural world as pristine, secret, uninhabited — as a convenient blank canvas for the hero’s journey of self-discovery.”
And if you’re looking for some fun new horror in your life, may I recommend HBO’s new series “Lovecraft Country”? I nudge you toward it with a warning that it’s both exquisitely shot and absolutely terrifying. More here from Tambay Obenson.
See you Monday!