Five Weeknight Tomato Dishes

Burst in a coconut-ginger sauce for fish, stir-fried with basil and eggs in fried rice and grated into garlicky pasta.

By Emily Weinstein

Juicy, acidic and sun-warmed sweet, a perfect summer tomato is a blessing. (A less perfect tomato is fine, if a little dull; a wan out-of-season tomato is to be avoided.) I eat tomatoes every day in August, sometimes at every meal.

That’s why it’s Tomato Week here at Five Weeknight Dishes, with recipes that feature tomatoes: I can hardly think of anything else. Next week, the newsletter will be devoted to zucchini, and then finally we’ll turn to corn, the golden queen of late summer. If it’s a no on tomatoes, here’s a collection of easy summer dinner recipes to browse. Something for everyone!

Write me at [email protected] to tell me what you think and what you’re cooking. And if you’re in the New York area, Eric Kim is appearing at the Grow NYC booth at the Union Square Greenmarket on Wednesday, Aug. 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eric will show you how to make his easy and popular furikake tomato sandwich at 11 a.m. and noon, and he’ll be there to say hello and answer questions in between.

1. Grated Tomato Pasta

The best way to showcase the flavor of prime summer tomatoes is to cook them as minimally as possible, if at all. They’re grated into a juicy heap in the chef Ham El-Waylly’s new pasta recipe, then barely simmered for a few minutes before a toss with spaghetti.

View this recipe.

2. Coconut Fish and Tomato Bake

This recipe from Yewande Komolafe is a fan favorite, and a very good home for a few pints of cherry tomatoes. Those tomatoes roast with the fish in the oven, sweetening and adding juice to the ginger-coconut sauce.

View this recipe.

3. Grilled Chicken With Tomatoes and Corn

Ali Slagle is forever looking for ways to make simple cooking even simpler. Take this chicken recipe, which is built on the principle that all you need to season a bed of sweet corn and tomatoes are the drippings from hot grilled chicken. She calls it “a no-effort warm dressing.” I call it delicious. Vary the spices on the chicken however you like.

View this recipe.

4. Basil and Tomato Fried Rice

Tomatoes and rice are a combination you see across cuisines, but not in quite the way Hetty Lui McKinnon cooks with them here: stir-fried into a jammy, sweet-and-savory meal, which gets a little smoky from the pan. I love this one, and I had it for lunch just the other day.

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5. Spiced Ginger Shrimp With Burst Tomatoes

This tomato-laden twist on shrimp scampi comes from Melissa Clark, who uses Sungold tomatoes, a vivid orange variety of cherry tomato that is particularly sweet (and a favorite of mine). But any type of cherry tomato will fare well in this zippy, buttery pan sauce.

View this recipe.

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Emily Weinstein is the Food and Cooking editor of The New York Times. She also writes the popular NYT Cooking newsletter Five Weeknight Dishes. More about Emily Weinstein

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