Summer weather coaxes out all the best qualities of a tomato, ensuring juicy, sweet orbs in all colors, sizes and shapes. When beautiful tomatoes are at their peak, why cook them? These recipes show great ways to use tomatoes adding minimal, if any, heat. We also endorse eating them raw.

Mock Chirashi Rice Salad, above. Chirashi, which in Japanese means “scattered,” is a meal consisting of a bowl of vegetables, rice and raw fish. How can we convince you that tomatoes belong here? When ripe beefsteak tomatoes marinate in soy sauce, fish sauce and mirin, they mimic the flavors of raw fish in a classic chirashi bowl, making for a no-cook, filling meal.



(Jennifer Chase for The Washington Post)

Tomato, Nectarine and Burrata Salad. A salad might be an obvious way to serve up raw tomatoes, and here they star alongside nectarines in a juicy, spicy jumble, highlighting their acidity and sweetness against milky mozzarella.



(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Garlicky Marinated Tomatoes. These tomatoes aren’t cooked, but their marinade is. Barely. Minced garlic and red chili flakes get 30 seconds in hot olive oil — that’s it. Pour onto some chopped tomatoes with a little vinegar, let sit for a while and voilà! All you need are fresh herbs on top, and you’ve got a gorgeous, garlic-infused side.



(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Tomatoes With Capers, Almonds and Herbs. Tomatoes love salt, so give it to them in the form of briny capers. Not only that, toss in smoked almonds, a touch of maple syrup, a little paprika and lemon for an eclectic combination of flavors that just works.



(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Summer Tomato Panzanella. Does any dish use a perfectly ripe summer tomato quite like panzanella? While some versions of this salad ask for more bread, in this recipe, bread plays a supporting role to tomatoes at their peak.



(Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post)

Mike’s Garlic Mint Tomatoes. Putting tomatoes in the fridge is often met with consternation. This recipe asks for an open mind when it instructs you to refrigerate a mix of tomato, mint, garlic and vinegar. The cold rest is crucial for getting the flavors to meld.

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