Tomato Season

— Written By and last updated by Jessica Griffin
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There is Nothing Like Fresh Tomatoes

It’s tomato season in the South and nothing beats a fresh farm grown tomato! Try incorporating the tasty treat into this variety of recipes.

Pan Seared Chicken with Tomato Olive Relish


  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • ⅓ cup chopped pitted olives


  1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done.
  2. While chicken cooks, combine remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil, basil, and vinegar in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add cherry tomatoes and olives; toss to coat. Serve relish with chicken.

Serves 4. Each serving contains: 235 calories, 6 g fat, 39.6 g protein, 1.6 g carbohydrate, 0.5 g fiber, 99 mg cholesterol, 511 mg sodium.

Watermelon, Peach and Tomato Salsa


  • ½ cup hot pepper jelly
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups seeded and diced fresh watermelon
  • 1 cup peeled and diced fresh peaches
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh basil
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh chives
  • 3 cups baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Garnish: fresh basil sprigs


  1. Whisk together pepper jelly, lime zest, and lime juice in a bowl; stir in watermelon and next 3 ingredients.
  2. Season halved baby tomatoes with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste; spoon into cocktail glasses. Top with salsa. Garnish, if desired.

Tomato Mac and Cheese


  • 8 ounces uncooked corkscrew pasta
  • 1 (1-pint) container grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ¼ cup diced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups 1% low-fat milk
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded


  1. Preheat broiler to high. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain.
  2. While pasta cooks, place tomatoes on a jelly-roll pan lined with foil. Broil 8 minutes or until tomatoes are beginning to blacken.
  3. While tomatoes cook, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add diced shallots, minced garlic, and thyme; sauté 2 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add tomato paste; cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk, black pepper, and salt; bring to a boil. Cook 4 minutes or until thick and bubbly, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add spinach, stirring constantly until spinach starts to wilt. Add shredded cheddar cheese, and stir until smooth. Stir in cooked pasta. Top with the roasted tomatoes.

Serves 4. Each serving contains: 424 calories, 11.2 fat, 12.6 g protein, 59.5 g carbohydrate, 5.1 g fiber, 24 mg cholesterol, 575 mg sodium.

BLT Charred Salad


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into ribbons
  • 1½ cups (½-inch) cubed whole-grain bread (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 romaine hearts, halved lengthwise
  • Cooking spray
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil; swirl to coat. Add prosciutto; cook 4 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove prosciutto with a slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels. Add bread to pan; cook 3 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Combine prosciutto and bread. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Add tomatoes; cook 5 minutes or until skins begins to split, stirring frequently. Pour tomatoes and olive oil into a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  3. Coat cut sides of lettuce with cooking spray. Place lettuce, cut side down, on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Cook 2 minutes or until well marked. Place 1 lettuce half on each of 4 plates. Divide prosciutto mixture and tomato mixture among servings. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon onions and ½ ounce cheese.

Serves 4. Each serving contains: 226 calories, 16 g fat, 9 g protein, 12.9 g carbohydrate, 2.9 g fiber, 19 mg cholesterol, 559 mg sodium. 

Easy Tomato Tart


  • ½ (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • 1½ cups shredded fontina cheese, divided (may substitute provolone)
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  1. Press refrigerated piecrust on bottom and up sides of a square 9-inch tart pan. Bake at 450°F for 9 minutes or until piecrust is lightly browned; set aside.
  2. Cut off pointed end of garlic bulb; place garlic on a piece of aluminum foil, and drizzle with olive oil. Fold foil to seal.
  3. Bake garlic at 425°F for 30 minutes; cool. Squeeze pulp from garlic cloves into bottom of baked piecrust.
  4. Sprinkle ½ cup fontina cheese over the garlic. Slice tomatoes, and sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Place on folded paper towels, and let stand 10 minutes. Arrange tomato slices over shredded cheese. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.
  5. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes or until tart is lightly browned.

Serves 4-6

Seashells with Basil, Tomatoes, and Garlic


  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1¼ pounds (1 quart) small cherry and teardrop tomatoes
  • ¾ pound medium seashell pasta
  • ½ cup shaved parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves


  1. Combine oil, garlic, and ¾ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Chop 1 cup of the tomatoes and add to bowl. Cut remaining tomatoes in half and stir into mixture; let stand about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta as package directs in a large pot of salted boiling water. Drain pasta, saving 1 cup water. Toss pasta with tomato mixture, then with cheese and all but 1 tablespoon basil. Mix in a little pasta water if needed for a looser texture. Sprinkle remaining basil on top and season with salt.