In trying to plan for today's tomato party, I came to a realization: I can't play favorites when it comes to the love apple. I have never turned up my nose at a tomato, save a really mealy, really big-agriculture-mass-market tasteless and sad specimen decorating a salad at a bad restaurant. Anything farm grown, ripe and lovely, I like, and always have. In my family, the taste isn't so developed, perhaps. My husband only really loves tomatoes in a caprese salad, and everything, as it should be, must be just so: the mozzarella warmed slightly in water before slicing, so that its flavor is optimal; the tomato and basil both absolutely fresh; the extra virgin olive oil bright and fruity. No vinegar to mar these flavors, but a bit of coarse salt makes them sing. My kids confine their tomato appreciation to catsup and pizza, but they're young. They have time.
The rest of us, we don't have so much. Time, that is. Did you feel the cool air last night? Fall is coming. Eat tomatoes while you can. Don't waste a moment playing favorites. Eat them every which way. Try my corn and tomato salad, my potato and tomato gratin, my squash gratin with a simple salad of chopped tomatoes served alongside, and you'll savor this moment.