In the late summer, arguably along with sweet corn-on-the-cob, fresh summer tomatoes are the ultimate expression of summer food. After months of the insipid gas-ripened tomatoes, our first bite into one that’s been ripened by the sun on the vine brings us back to what a really fresh summer tomato should taste like, and it bears no resemblance to those tasteless supermarket products we get year round. In fact, in the winter and spring months, I prefer to use canned tomatoes for cooking rather than these pallid things. Tomatoes are rich in vitamins A, C and another cancer fighting antioxidant lycopene, and the lycopene in canned tomatoes is enhanced since the tomatoes are cooked during the canning process. Cooking tomatoes makes their lycopene more bioavailable to the body. But since we have the bounty of summer to enjoy at this moment, the cans can stay on the pantry shelf. We’ve picked some of our favorite tomato dishes for you, from salads that can use heirloom tomatoes still warm from the sun, to soups and sauces that are perfect for for cooking ripe Roma and beefsteak tomatoes for the freezer, where their warm flavor will bring back the taste not to mention the nutrients of summer to brighten the dark winter days. Enjoy!