Over the summer, there’s nothing better than heading out to the garden and picking some fresh fruits and vegetables. No matter the size of your garden, there’s one delicious food you can almost always grow: the tomato.
It’s growing season, and that means tons of different juicy, fragrant types of tomatoes straight from the vine! If you’ve grown your own tomatoes before, you know that once they start growing, there’s no stopping them, and soon you’ve got more tomatoes than you know what to do with!
But did you know that all tomatoes aren’t created equally? For instance, you could use a Roma tomato in a salad, but the juicy cherry tomato would be a much tastier option. And if you’re whipping up an amazing salsa? Turn to the hearty, flavorful beefsteak tomato.
Here, we bring you a comprehensive guide to the top types of tomatoes and the best ways to use them. Check out the delicious varieties below!
Tiny grape tomatoes make a great addition to all kinds of salads. Slice them in half vertically — or horizontally if you want a juicier tomato. Not only that, they make a great snack, too! At home, try them with a dash of salt and some balsamic vinegar for a delicious, savory treat. Or simply toss some clean grape tomatoes in a sandwich bag for a healthy snack.
Of all the different types of tomatoes, the beefsteak variety is one of the most well-known. It’s the one you should turn to when you’re making sauces or salsa. They’re huge, super juicy, and often considered the most flavorful of all the different types of tomatoes. Following a vegan diet? Cut a beefsteak into thick slices and throw it on the grill for a minute or two, then use it as a burger substitute.
3. Green Beefsteak
The lesser-known cousin to the red or purple beefsteak is the green beefsteak. It’s still got a nice, hearty taste to it, making it a great choice to slice up for sandwiches and wraps.
Cherry tomatoes start to grow like crazy once the summer heat cranks up, so you’ll have no shortage of tomatoes to add to dishes of all kinds. They’re terrific for snacking and adding to salads, but these versatile little tomatoes have lots of other uses, too: They’re the perfect complement to pretty much any pasta recipe that calls for tomatoes. And the small, round shape lends itself perfectly to kebabs, too.
Roma tomatoes are pretty much the gold standard when it comes to making the perfect tomato sauce. While they taste pretty bland off the vine — definitely not the best choice for sandwiches — they lend themselves perfectly to a variety of delicious pasta dishes.
What’s an heirloom, you ask? It’s a tomato variety that’s been passed down through generations and honed for specific characteristics that make it, well, amazing. Many people say that if you’ve never tasted an heirloom, you’ve never tasted a tomato. This often bizarre-looking variety of tomato can be enjoyed in a number of different ways. Some of the best ways to enjoy it are grilled, roasted, and raw.
7. On the Vine
Whipping up a fabulous tomato soup? Good for you! There’s no store-bought tomato soup that can quite stack up to a good homemade recipe. For the best flavor, your go-to tomato should be on the vine. Of all types of tomatoes, these lend the best flavor and juiciness to tomato soup.
8. Yellow/White Tomatoes
When you think of tomatoes, chances are you think of juicy, deep red ones. But we’re here to tell you that you need to give yellow and white tomatoes a chance! Though they might look a little odd, they’re still tomatoes. These varieties work best in any recipe that calls for a milder flavor. Or mix things up a bit and use them alongside red tomatoes to add some vibrant colors to your dish.
9. Purple Tomatoes
Hit up your local farmers market in July and chances are you’ll come across a beautiful, deep-purple tomato. Have you ever wondered what to do with one? It turns out that purple tomatoes don’t just look dramatic, they have a deeper, heartier flavor than red, green, or yellow tomatoes. Plus, they’re great to use when presentation is key!
10. Green Tomatoes
Want a delicious Southern-style snack? Slice up some green tomatoes and fry ’em! With a slightly more bitter taste than their red counterparts, green tomatoes lend themselves perfectly to being coated and fried.
If you love tomatoes, make sure to try out some of these delicious varieties this summer!