Slow-roast them. Core and then slice any larger tomatoes—not too thin or they will fall apart; cherry, Roma, or Early Girl tomatoes can be halved instead. Place them on a lined baking sheet, then paint the exposed side with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a tiny bit of sugar. Carefully flip the halves and repeat with the olive oil, salt, pepper, and sugar. Cook for many hours (peek after two) at 250° F; they're done when they start to shrivel and dry up a bit. Don't go too long or they will be firm like candy. But don't panic if this happens—just reconstitute them with olive oil.
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Put them in a panzanella. Coat sliced or torn stale bread with olive oil, salt, and Aleppo pepper, and toast it in a 300° F oven until crisp and lightly browned. While it cools, combine some tomato wedges, halved figs, and quick-pickled red onions. Salt and pepper generously. Splash on some olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and pickle brine. Add your croutons and toss. Let sit for 30 minutes. Toss. Taste. Adjust. At the last moment, add some kind of green: chopped arugula, mint, parsley, cilantro. Or any microgreen. Or all of the above.
Make a tart. Spread a savory goat cheese mixture on the bottom of an uncooked tart shell. Layer several thinly sliced tomatoes (if the slices are thick it will get too watery). Top with finely grated Parmesan, and bake in a 350° F oven until bubbling and brown. Garnish with coarse salt. Splash or drizzle or paint with thick balsamic.
Make slow-cooked tomato sauce. Pile it on pizza—then pasta. Core and hack up your tomatoes. Place them in a pot with a big splash of olive oil, a small splash of balsamic vinegar, a sprig of fresh thyme, salt, pepper, grated garlic, and as many anchovies as you dare. Cook low and slow for a few hours, stirring occasionally. It's done when it's thick and potent. Taste it a few times and adjust the salt. Then add it to pizza, or toss it withbucatini. Add a knob of butter to the bowl right at the end.
Photos by Phyllis Grant
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).