Sign up for the Random.cooking newsletter

* indicates required

facebook logo


What are tomatoes?

Tomatoes are a type of fruit that are commonly used as a vegetable in cooking. They are a member of the nightshade family and are native to western South America. Tomatoes come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, and are used in many different cuisines around the world. They are a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and potassium.

What are some varieties of tomatoes?

There are many varieties of tomatoes, including:

  • Beefsteak tomatoes: large and meaty, often used for sandwiches and slicing
  • Cherry tomatoes: small and round, often used in salads and as a snack
  • Heirloom tomatoes: open-pollinated varieties that have been passed down for generations, often known for their unique and distinctive flavors.
  • Plum tomatoes: also known as Roma tomatoes, they are oblong in shape and have a meatier texture, often used for canning and cooking.
  • Grape tomatoes: small, oblong and sweet, often used for salads and snacking.
  • Yellow tomatoes: a variety of tomato that is yellow in color, known for their sweet and tangy flavor
  • Green tomatoes: unripe tomatoes that are picked before they have a chance to turn red, often used in fried green tomato recipes.
  • Black tomatoes: a variety of tomato that is deep purple or black in color, known for their unique flavor and rich, smoky taste.

These are some examples, there are many more variety of tomatoes available with different taste, size, and color.

How are tomatoes used in cooking?

Tomatoes are used in a wide variety of cooking methods and dishes. Some of the most common ways they are used include:

  • Sliced or diced: Tomatoes are often used raw in salads, sandwiches, and as a topping for pizzas.
  • Cooked: Tomatoes can also be cooked by themselves or as part of a recipe. They can be sautéed, roasted, grilled, or stewed. They are often used in sauces, soups, and stews.
  • Canning: Tomatoes are a popular ingredient for canning and preserving. They can be canned whole, crushed, or as a sauce.
  • Juicing: Tomatoes are also used to make juice, which can be consumed on its own or used as a base for soups and sauces.
  • Drying: Tomatoes can be dried for later use in cooking. Dried tomatoes are often used in salads, sandwiches, and as a topping for pizzas.
  • Fermenting: Tomatoes can be fermented to make a variety of dishes such as ketchup, pickles and fermented salsa.
  • Grinding: Tomatoes can be ground to make a smooth paste which is used in a variety of curries, soups, and stews.

These are just a few examples of how tomatoes are used in cooking. Tomatoes are a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different ways to add flavor, color, and nutrition to a wide variety of dishes.

What are some good dishes that use tomatoes?

Tomatoes are a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different dishes. Here are a few examples of dishes that use tomatoes as a main ingredient:

  • Tomato soup: a classic soup made with tomatoes, onions, celery, and spices.
  • Caprese salad: a traditional Italian salad made with sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  • Pizza Margherita: a classic pizza made with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil.
  • Spaghetti with marinara sauce: a classic pasta dish made with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices.
  • Gazpacho: a cold Spanish soup made with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and bread.
  • Pico de Gallo: a type of salsa made with diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, lime juice, and chili peppers.
  • Grilled tomato: Grilled tomatoes are a great side dish or addition to a sandwich. They are also great on their own as a snack.
  • Fried green tomatoes: unripe green tomatoes are sliced, coated in a seasoned cornmeal mixture, and fried until golden brown.
  • Ratatouille: a traditional Provençal stew made with eggplant, bell pepper, onion, zucchini, and tomato.
  • Tomato and basil bruschetta: a traditional Italian appetizer consisting of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with tomatoes, basil, and olive oil.

These are just a few examples of dishes that use tomatoes as a main ingredient, there are many more dishes that could be made with tomatoes as a main ingredient or as a side ingredient.

Selected Recipes