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Tomato Time!

Whether you toss them with chickpeas, feta and a beautifully crunchy topping, or grate them for paneer con tomate, these recipes will put them to good use.

By Tejal Rao

Tejal here, filling in for Emily. I’m writing to you from my galley kitchen in Los Angeles, just back from a week of vacation where I didn’t go anywhere. I read a lot near the air-conditioner, cooked when it cooled down in the evenings, and spent longer than usual at the park with my dogs. I mean, sure, it would have been nice to drink frozen margaritas on a beach with my friends, but this isn’t a complaint — I love being home with time off.

That’s when I take a minute to look around, to organize the fridge and the pantry, deep-clean the increasingly crusty stove, and generally catch up on all the things I fall behind on day-to-day. It’ll all unravel again, but, for now, it’s nice to be in a somewhat tidy kitchen with an absolute deluge of fat, ripe tomatoes. I can’t think about anything else: I want to slice them for sandwiches, grate them for pan con tomate, simmer them into fresh sauces, put them in a blender and just … drink them. So here are five recipes for tomato lovers, starting with Hetty McKinnon’s hunky tomato salad with chickpeas.

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1. Tomato Salad With Chickpeas and Feta

Trust me and double the recipe for the crisp, salty topping in this Hetty McKinnon recipe. The mix of nuts, seeds, granola and chiles isn’t just perfect here, leveling up a jumble of simply dressed tomatoes and chickpeas; it’s also great the next morning, as a sweet-and-savory topping on a bowl of yogurt, or even a piece of toast spread with peanut butter.

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2. Tomato Risotto

Cooking shows and movies often make risotto seem demanding and intimidating, but the dish is secretly a contender for everyday home cooking: You don’t have to stand over it stirring the whole time! I love this simple version from David Tanis, built on a really quick, summery vegetable stock of onion, tomatoes and water. It still ends up creamy and satisfying, thanks to the texture of the rice.

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3. Tomato and Peach Salad With Whipped Goat Cheese

That window when peaches and tomatoes are both excellent is brief and wonderful, and Alexa Weibel’s salad, assembled on a purée of goat cheese and lemon zest, really lets them both shine. You can mix up the stone fruit depending on what’s around — nectarines and plums work, too.

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4. Blistered Tomato Dressing

Yewande Komolafe’s recipe turns a pound of broiled cherry tomatoes into a delicious all-purpose dressing, which you can use just like a salad dressing, or spoon over a piece of broiled fish when it comes out of the oven. Right now, I like it simply with charred corn and pieces of toasted, torn-up bread, mixed together in a big bowl.

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5. Paneer con Tomate

Few things are lazier than fried cheese topped with raw, seasoned tomato pulp, a hefty snack that becomes a proper meal if you spoon it over some rice or another quick-cooking grain, like quinoa or farro. And if you’re not in the mood to fry, try spoonfuls of fresh ricotta, just as they are — the meal comes together even faster.

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