Celebrate Summer’s luscious flavors with more than five dozen seasonal recipes

Tomatoes are Sacramento’s jam — and soup and sauce and the starting point for many other wonderful dishes.

Tomatoes are Sacramento’s jam — and soup and sauce and the starting point for many other wonderful dishes.

Kathy Morrison

Taste Summer! Try these wonderful tomato recipes — and so much more

It’s tomato time! Region-wide, Summer ranks as our favorite food season in the Big Tomato!

Sacramentans LOVE tomatoes! We obsess about growing them and can’t wait for the first ripe slicer. In our gardens, we pop sweet cherry tomatoes like candy. Whether harvesting our own or shopping at farmers markets, we get fanatical over colorful heirlooms and rave about their flavor.

We’re not alone; tomato lovers are everywhere — and they all need new ways to make the most of this summer treasure. This seasonal recipe collection includes more than 15 ways to enjoy tomatoes, from tomato compote and tomato tart to tomato pilaf and tomato clafoutis. With this assortment, tomatoes have an opportunity to show off both their sweet and savory sides — now and later.

In the Sacramento region, Summer offers a lot more than fantastic tomatoes. Peppers, squash, cucumbers, corn — this season is full of flavor and crunch. Summer fruit — peaches, plums, apricots, figs and so much more — is not only luscious, it’s inspirational.

In this recipe collection, discover more than five dozen tasty ways to enjoy our local Summer fruit and vegetables. They’re at their very best right now — in season.

Featured vegetables: Arugula, chilies, corn, cucumber, garlic, onion, pepper, shallot, spinach, squash, squash blossom, tomatillo, tomato, zucchini.

Featured fruit: Apple, apricot, avocado, blueberry, cantaloupe, fig, grapes, loganberry, nectarine, peach, pear, plum, pluot, prune, tomato, watermelon.

Appetizers and Sauces

Got salsa? Try melon salsa, white nectarine salsa or classic salsa verde with fresh tomatillos. Too many cherry tomatoes? Use them for this fun cherry tomato focaccia.

Vegetable-Focused Mains and Sides

What’s for dinner? Tomatoes, zucchini, corn and other summer favorites add fresh flavor to such dishes as turkey zucchini meatballs or fish with tomato-pepper sauce. (Plenty of vegetarian ideas, too!)

Soups and Salads

Chilled peach soup? We have two versions: Extra creamy (with Greek yogurt) and vegan. Try our best-ever fresh tomato soup. Peach, pluots, figs, watermelon and more make for interesting salads.

Fruit-Focused Breakfast Dishes

Start your day with a boost of fruity flavor. These recipes showcase the sweet taste of summer in updated classics such as Italian pear and chocolate breakfast cake or tangy apricot French toast.

Desserts and Sweets

Zucchini for dessert? Kathy’s famous chocolate zucchini bread is a sweet treat any time of day. Apricots, peaches, figs, plums, berries are at their peak; find tasty twists on these summer favorites, too.


White Linen Cocktail could be the taste of Sacramento — no tomatoes in sight. Prefer a fruity refresher? Try a Blueberry Smash or a Watermelon Margarita.

Relishes and Snacks

Stretch the flavors of Summer throughout the year. Zap some super-quick pickles in the microwave. Turn tomatoes into chutney — or powder. (It’s great on popcorn!)

Other Cookbooks

Strawberries are just the start of the seasonal fruits featured in our Taste Spring! recipes. Cherries, blueberries and rhubarb all get their moments. Featured vegetables are fresh and bright. Take a taste!