(8/08) One of the most delightful aspects of summer, for gardeners at least, is the first ripe tomato. Picked from the vine and eaten immediately, tomatoes have no peer in the garden. Sliced and drizzled with balsamic vinegar and a hint of fresh ground pepper and sea salt, a few leaves of basil, they become a simple elegant salad. And that's just the beginning.
Tomatoes are versatile and have found their way into the cuisine of almost every culture. Whether your tastes run to the exotic or favor American fare, tomatoes are one of the cook's indispensable ingredients. Fresh, canned, or frozen, they are a staple in everything from soup and salads to main dishes.
The following articles may help you find and grow tomatoes that tickle your palate.