Everything You Need to Know About Tomatoes

Everything You Need to Know About Tomatoes

Fresh, abundant and brightly coloured, Ontario tomatoes taste like sunshine and summer in every flavour-filled bite. Here, a primer on how to enjoy them, from choosing your favourite varieties to wine pairing, plus lots of tasty recipes


Tomatoes 101

With more than 300 varieties of tomatoes grown in Ontario, deciding what to eat — and plant at home — can feel daunting. Simplify the choices with this cheat sheet on what’s available.

Tomatoes 101

1. Roma (a.k.a. Italian plum)

Thanks to their high acidity, low seed counts and little water content, these torpedo-shaped tomatoes are sauce-ready. Look for San Marzano or Big Mama.

2. Cherry and grape

Their diminutive size, sweetness and thin skins make these perfect for snacking or a quick sauté. Try colourful Sun Golds (orange) and Black Cherries (purple).

3. Heirloom

Many purists prefer the higher sugar content and superior flavour of heirloom varieties, which vary widely by size, colour and taste. Look for Lemon Boy or Black Krim.

4. Beefsteak

Craving a BLT? Use thick slices of this juicy, robust and tangy variety (it's also great with fresh mozzarella or as chunky salad wedges). Top types include Big Beef and Whopper.


The Basic Rules for Pairing Wine with Tomatoes

With more than 400 different chemical properities at play, a tomato’s flavour profile is complex, opening up a world of wine-pairing options. We asked Langdon Hall Executive Chef, Jason Bangerter to share his tips for pairing wine with tomatoes.

The Basic Rules for Pairing Wine with Tomatoes

Tomato Salads

When fresh, tomatoes are more acidic. Pair a high-acid white like Soave or Greco di Tufo with a vinaigrette-tossed tomato salad.  

We recommend Folonari Soave DOC.

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Cooked Tomato Sauce, Soups and Stews

With pasta and other cooked tomato-based dishes, a top choice is Brunello di Montalcino. Bold and earthy, it's made from a unique clone of Sangiovese.

We recommend Piccini Brunello di Montalcino DOCG.

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Raw Tomato Recipes

For dishes with uncooked tomatoes, the savoury notes of a Sangiovese work well, while gazpacho finds harmony with rosé.

We recommend Caparzo Sangiovese Toscana IGP.

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Recipes

From the Food & Drink Archives

Tomtini

There’s a world of exquisite cocktails beyond a Bloody Mary or a Caesar. Try our Tomato Martini, made with flavourful tomato water.

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Tomato, Watermelon and Feta Salad

Make this cooling sidekick to serve alongisde a spicy barbecue dinner.

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Tomato Bread Salad

Its quintessential summery taste makes it perfect for any backyard party.

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More of Our Favourite Tomato Recipes

Black Rice & Tomato Salad

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Cheddar Cups with Fresh Tomato Relish & Crispy Pancetta

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Fresh Tomato, Olive & Lemon Pasta

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Saffron-Spiced Tomato Chicken

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Gnocchi with Rapini, Pancetta & Tomatoes

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