Time is running out: The deadline for entering the Food section’s annual Top Tomato recipe contest is Thursday, July 25, at midnight. You don’t have to live in the Washington area to submit.

Recipes must be original (honor system here, folks), must come from home cooks (chefs, put down your knives) and must list no more than 13 ingredients (including salt and pepper). You may enter as many as five recipes.

A heads up: List the ingredients in the order they are used in the recipe directions. It’s best not to enter recipes you have sent in to Top Tomato in previous years. If you plan to send a recipe for soups or sauces, make sure it’s something special: We get lots of those. We like a good (short) backstory, too.

Are you tempted to pass along a tomato purists’ mantra, along the lines of: “Take a tomato. Cut it in half. Eat it over the sink”? Your neighbors have sent it in already.

The winners will be featured in our special tomato issue on Aug. 14.

Send recipes to: Recipe Contest, The Food Section, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071; or by e-mail, with “TOP TOMATO CONTEST” in the subject field, to food@washpost.com.

We encourage you to enter early. Include your name, address and daytime phone number.

If you have questions, send them via e-mail and we’ll answer right away.