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Take advantage of tomato time!

Jane Kirby, food editor at “Real Simple” magazine, shares some easy, delicious recipes for those ripe, red tomatoes.
/ Source: TODAY

There are at least 500 different varieties of tomatoes grown in the United States. While tomatoes are available year-round, the end of August through September is the best season for tomatoes. And what can you do with them other than put them in your salad or make pasta sauce? Jane Kirby, food editor at “Real Simple” magazine, shares easy recipes to help us take advantage of tomatoes while they’re at their peak.


Hands-on time: 20 mins.

Total time: 1 hour, 20 mins.

Makes 6 servings



2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

3/4 cup milk


2 pounds plums tomatoes (about 10), peeled and sliced

1/4 cup fresh basil or oregano leaves, chopped

3 scallions, chopped, or 1/4 cup chopped chives

1 1/2 cups (about 6oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


Heat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. For the crust, place the flour, baking soda, salt, and butter in a food processor fitted with a knife blade. Pulse until butter is cut into small bits. With the motor running, slowly add the milk through the feed tube until the dough comes together and sits on the blade. Remove and divide in half. On a lightly floured counter, roll half the dough into an 11-inch round. Use it to line a 9-inch plate.

Layer the tomato slices, basil, and scallions in the pie shell. Top with half the Cheddar. In a small cup, combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Pour over the tomatoes and top with the remaining Cheddar. Roll out the remaining dough and place it on top of the filling, folding the edge under and crimping it to seal. Cut 3 or 4 slits in the dough so the steam can escape. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until bubbly. (Cover lightly with foil if the crust begins to get too brown.) Remove from oven. Cool 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.

Or use store-bought refrigerated 9-inch piecrusts (such as Pillsbury Pie Crust).


Hands-on time: 15 mins.

Total time: 40 mins.

Makes 8 servings


2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 6), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

3 scallions, trimmed and chopped

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 pounds salad tomatoes (about 5 medium), chopped


Place the potatoes and garlic in a large saucepan and cover with lightly salted water. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer about 20 minutes or until a fork easily pierces a potato. Drain the potatoes and garlic. Mash with a potato masher or a fork until smooth. Blend in the milk, butter, parsley, scallions, Parmesan, and salt. Gently fold in the tomatoes.

Recipes courtesy of Real Simple magazine.