7 Ways to Enjoy Fresh Summer Tomatoes (#3 May Surprise You!)

heirloom tomatoes

Is there anything more deliciously evocative of summer than the rich flavor of heirloom tomatoes? When those first summer tomatoes come into the farmer’s market (or, if you’re lucky, right off the garden vine), it can be tough to think of any way you’d enjoy them more than sliced with a pinch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil.

But as summer marches on, it’s fun to get a bit more creative with your summer tomatoes. Here are seven of our favorite recipes to inspire you!

Gazpacho recipe

1. Simple Summer Gazpacho

This cold Spanish soup is a great way to feature summer staples: not just summer tomatoes but cucumber and red bell pepper. The chilled soup is thickened, not with bread, as in traditional recipes, but rather with hemp seeds, lending texture and depth of flavor but keeping this gazpacho gluten-free.

Heirloom Tomato o Toast
Image: Karissa Bowers

2. Heirloom Tomato Toast

Put avocado toast on hold for the summer, and pave the way for fresh heirloom tomatoes instead. This tomato toast is even simpler than bruschetta, featuring just summer tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, and basil.


3. Tomato and Strawberry Salad

This salad pairs two summer ingredients you don’t see together all too often, but while strawberries and tomatoes may be rare bedfellows, both pair wonderfully with basil – and, as you’ll see, with one another.

Balsamic vinegar and a touch of baby arugula really send this salad over the top. Pick multicolored tomatoes and a mix of red and yellow strawberries for the most striking salad.

cherry tomato pizza

4. Grilled Pizza with Cherry Tomatoes

No need to heat up the house for this pizza; just fire up the grill and soon you’ll be ready to devour this delicious combo of charred dough, cheese, and fresh tomatoes.

Heirloom Tomato Pie Recipe
Photo by Oliver Parini, reprinted with permission from “The Connecticut Farm Table Cookbook”, The Countryman Press 2015

5. Heirloom Tomato Pie

This savory pie features a super simple combination of fresh tomatoes, fontina, mayonnaise, and basil. It’s the perfect way to use up extra tomatoes from your garden in a delicious vegetarian main.

Baked Eggs in Tomatoes
Image: Baked Tomatoes via Shutterstock

6. Baked Eggs in Tomatoes with Pesto

Picture this: a rich, summery tomato filled with an oozy, perfectly cooked egg. Add some homemade arugula pesto, and you’re ready to enjoy this dairy-free dish. Consider serving these tomatoes alongside grilled steak or vegetables, or simply on their own with lots of bread for mopping up all of the delicious juices.

corn salad
Image: Kate Gavlick

7. Baked Wild Salmon with a Zesty Tomato, Avocado, and Corn Salad

Tomato plays a supporting role in this recipe, alongside avocado, corn, and baked wild salmon. This dish is hearty and impressive enough for your next dinner party, but it’s super easy to prepare – especially when you have delicious seasonal ingredients to work with.

Related on Organic Authority
How It’s Made: MightyVine is Bringing Fresh, Local Tomatoes to Chicago 365 Days a Year
Scientists are Making Heirloom Tomatoes Taste Like Real Tomatoes Again
New Digital Series Explores Farm-to-Table Love (and Tomatoes)

Emily Monaco
Emily Monaco

Emily Monaco is an American food and culture writer based in Paris. She loves uncovering the stories behind ingredients and exposing the face of our food system, so that consumers can make educated choices. Her work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Vice Munchies, and Serious Eats.

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Gluten-Free Vegan Cupcakes Recipe with Coconut Whipped Cream Frosting and Fresh Berries

Vegan Cupcakes with Coconut Whipped Cream and Berries

Lighten up your next batch of cupcakes by ditching the dairy and gluten in favor of these vegan cupcakes topped with coconut whipped cream frosting and fresh berries. These are great for serving to your friends and family with food allergies since they are gluten-free, dairy-free, and egg-free. Plus, these cupcakes won’t leave you feeling heavy or bloated afterward.

This recipe uses organic sugar because conventional cane sugar is often refined with bone char and/or other animal byproducts. By opting for certified organic sugar, you are guaranteeing that your sugar is vegan.

The coconut whipped cream frosting is so light and fluffy, you’ll wish you had been topping your desserts with it all along. Native Forest canned coconut milk is BPA-free and certified organic, so opt for that if you are forgoing homemade coconut milk. A pro tip for easily separating the coconut solid from the liquid is to open the can upside down. Then drain out the liquid (save for another use, like a smoothie) and you will be left only with the solid cream remaining.

While these vegan cupcakes are crafted to taste like a cupcake straight from your favorite childhood bakery, that does mean they are a treat with their sugar content. You can lower the glycemic index of these and even make them refined sugar-free by opting for alternative sweeteners. Simply swap the cane sugar for coconut sugar, which is lower on the glycemic index than traditional sugar,  and swap the powdered sugar for a few tablespoons of pure maple or agave syrup and achieve the same results.

Note: your cupcakes may be more of an amber color when using coconut sugar but luckily they will be just as delicious!

Vegan Cupcakes with Coconut Whipped Cream Frosting and Fresh Berries

Makes 12 cupcakes
Adapted from Chloe’s Kitchen

For the cupcakes
1 ½ cups gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour
¾ cup organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
½ cup expeller pressed refined coconut oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

For the coconut whipped cream
5.4 oz chilled coconut milk (BPA-free can or homemade)
¼ cup organic powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the topping
1 pint organic berries of choice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners.

Add gluten-free flour, sugar, baking soda, and sea salt to a large bowl. Whisk until well combined. In a separate large bowl, whisk together almond milk, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk just combined. Being sure not to overmix.

Fill each cupcake liner with cupcake batter until it’s about ⅔ full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until cooked through. Insert a toothpick and be certain it comes out dry and with few if any crumbs before removing from the oven. Let the cupcakes cool for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, add chilled coconut milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to a mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix until the coconut whipped cream is light and fluffy.

Top each cupcake with coconut whipped cream and a few berries. Serve immediately. Leftover unfrosted cupcakes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Store leftover coconut whipped cream in the fridge as well.

Related on Organic Authority
5 Gluten-Free Flour Alternatives for Delicious Baked Goods
21 Ways to Enjoy Summer Berries
Get Cracking! 15 Unusual Ways to Use Coconut Milk

Image of cupcakes with raspberries via Shutterstock

Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers

Karissa Bowers is a fashion and food blogger living a compassionate lifestyle. Karissa is the blogger of Vegan À La Mode where she shares her favorite vegan and gluten-free recipes and also her eco-friendly cruelty-free style. Her love for photographing food and her outfits, drove her to develop a passion for photography. After a few years of honing in on her photography skills, Karissa launched her business, Karissa Bowers Photography, where she shoots weddings and portraits. When she’s not taking photos or in the kitchen, you can find Karissa traveling and trying new vegan restaurants.

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