tomato tartine from vicia's michael gallina photo by carmen troesser

St. Louis chefs share their favorite recipes for peak summer tomatoes

With tomatoes in abundance at farmers markets, in our gardens and on our plates, we’re all about enjoying the harvest’s bounty in fun, new ways. Here, some of our favorite local chefs share their favorite simple, tomato-centric recipes with minimal cooking, from Israeli bruschetta to tomato tartine.

Tomato Tartine
courtesy of Vicia’s Michael Gallina
8 servings

1 porridge or whole-wheat loaf, cut into ½-inch slices
Olive oil, for toasting and drizzling
2 cups fresh basil, divided
1 cup ricotta 
2 to 3 heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes
Sea salt, to taste
Raspberry vinegar, to taste

• Brush the bread with the olive oil. Toast under the broiler until golden brown. Set aside. 

• In the bowl of a food processor, add the ricotta, 1 cup basil and salt, and pulse until smooth and the basil is incorporated. 

• Cut the tomatoes into ¼-inch slices and set on a sheet tray. Sprinkle with the salt and drizzle with the raspberry vinegar and more olive oil. Marinate 5 to 10 minutes. 

• To serve, smear the whipped ricotta on the toasted bread, layer with the tomatoes, then finish with a chiffonade of the remaining basil and more sea salt. Cut in half on a diagonal. 

israeli bruschetta from olio's ben poremba // photo by carmen troesser

Israeli Bruschetta 
Courtesy of Olio’s Ben Poremba
6 to 8 Servings

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
½ cup grape seed oil
½ cup red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, shaved or thinly sliced, plus more for toast
1 Serrano pepper, shaved or thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. Urfa pepper*
1 tsp. dried mint
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
Baguette, ciabatta or rustic country bread slices, for serving
Sea salt
Basil, cilantro, mint and parsley, for garnish

• In a mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, grape seed oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, Serrano pepper, Urfa pepper and mint. Set aside.

• On a sheet tray, arrange the tomatoes in rows. With a small, handheld torch, char the tomatoes on all side. (If you don’t own a torch, use a hot grill.) While the tomatoes are still hot, immediately submerge them in the marinade. Tomatoes will keep refrigerated up to 1 week.

• To serve, toast the bread in a hot oven or on a grill. Generously rub with the fresh garlic and top with the tomato mixture. Drizzle with additional olive oil and sprinkle with the sea salt. Garnish with the herbs and serve immediately.

* Available at Global Foods Market or Amazon.

Sungold Tomato Salad 
Courtesy of Farmhaus’ Kevin Willmann
2 to 4 servings

2 peaches, pitted, medium-diced
1½ pints sungold tomatoes, halved
¼ cup husk cherries, skin removed, larger ones sliced in half
¼ cup mint chiffonade (rolled and sliced into ribbons)
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
Crostini or salty crackers, for serving

• In a large mixing bowl, combine the peaches, tomatoes, cherries and mint chiffonade. Toss with the olive oil and salt.

• Serve immediately with the crostini or crackers.

tomato carpaccio from farmhaus' kevin willmann // photo by carmen troesser

Tomato Carpaccio

Courtesy of Farmhaus’ Kevin Willmann
4 servings

3 lemon cucumbers, thinly sliced*
2 large watermelon radishes, peeled and very thinly sliced
1½ lbs. heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. everything bagel spice
1 Tbsp. sea salt
Fresh garden herbs like oregano, chive, basil, thyme or bronze fennel, for garnish

• On 4 salad plates, arrange the cucumbers, radishes and tomatoes, alternating the three in a circle, a line or a serpentine pattern. 

• Garnish with the olive oil, everything spice, sea salt and herbs.

* Lemon cucumbers are available at local farmers markets and from Such and Such Farm. If you cannot find them, substitute any cucumber.

Garden Tomato Salad 
courtesy of J. Devoti Trattoria’s Anthony Devoti
6 servings

3 spring bulb onions
3 to 4 heirloom or large red tomatoes, cubed, or 4 cups cherry tomato, halved
2 English or soyo long cucumbers, thinly sliced
1 cup green beans, cut into ½-inch lengths and blanched
Freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt, to taste
Vinaigrette, to taste (recipe follows)
½ to ¾ cup feta or other cheese

• Thinly slice the onions. Reserve ¾ of the green tops and set aside for the vinaigrette.

• In a large bowl, combine the sliced onion, tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, pepper and salt. Toss with vinaigrette to taste.

• Refrigerate 1 to 4 hours before serving, or up to 24 hours.

• Place in serving bowl and top with the feta.


1 clove garlic
Reserved spring bulb onion green tops
1 Tbsp. water, plus more as needed
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. whole-grain mustard
1 cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt, to taste

• In a food processor, add the garlic, onion greens and water and pulse until blended. 

• Add the vinegar and mustard, pulse, and then slowly add the oil in a steady stream with the food processor running until the oil is just emulsified. Add the pepper and salt and incorporate.

tomato salad from vicia's michael gallina // photo by carmen troesser

Tomato Salad
courtesy of Vicia’s Michael Gallina
6 servings

3 to 4 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
Sea salt, to taste
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. orange juice
3 Tbsp. raspberry vinegar
3 peaches, cut into wedges
1 small cantaloupe, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 lb. cherry tomatoes, halved
½ lb. cherries, halved
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 bunch thyme
1 stalk lemongrass, sliced
1 bunch basil, torn
½ cup crumbled feta

• In a large serving bowl, add the heirloom tomatoes and lightly season with the salt. Set aside to allow the salt to draw out some juice. 

• In a small bowl, make a vinaigrette by whisking the olive oil, orange juice and vinegar. Season to taste and set aside.

• Scatter the peaches and cantaloupe atop the salted tomatoes.

• In another bowl, add the cherry tomatoes, cherries and ginger and toss with the vinaigrette. Wrap the thyme and lemongrass in cheesecloth and tie with a string. Submerge the cheesecloth in the bowl of fruit with vinaigrette and marinate 30 minutes. Discard the cheesecloth pouch. 

• To serve, add the marinated cherry tomatoes and cherries atop the heirloom tomatoes. Spoon some of the vinaigrette on top. Sprinkle with the basil and feta.

Lauren Healey is associate editor at Sauce Magazine. 

Editor's Note: In the print version of this article in our August 2019 issue, Kevin Willmann's name was misspelled. We have updated the online version. 

Tags : Recipes