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Pinterest Tomato Board

Our Pinterest Tomato Board will lead you to a boatload of more tomato recipes, like this Olive-Oil-Poached Cherry Tomato Sauce from Cooking Classy.

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Amir Sharifi Fan Photo of the Month

Facebook fan Amir Sharifi sent us this photo he entitled "Persian Food." Amir added: "I use your wonderful oil mainly as my salad dressing." We highlight one fan a month. Please send your photo to or post on Facebook.

Janelle's Basic Tomato Sauce

Blogger, trained chef, and urban farmer Janelle Maiocco shares with us her advice on how home cooks can plan ahead and save time in the kitchen. Read a Q&A in our Blog.

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I'ts been a warm summer. Our ranchers are busy monitoring the olive trees to make sure they have enough water. The olives themselves have begun a key growth phase. Soon, we'll begin planning our fall harvest.

Summertime in the kitchen, meanwhile, means we can't get enough of fresh tomatoes straight from the vine. The tomato is king among summer's bounty. You'll find us clamoring for tomatoes at the local farmers' market - including heirlooms with colorful names like Brandywine, Taxi, or yellow currant. 

We like our tomato dishes simple, letting the bold, sweet flavor speak for itself. That means pureed for a pasta sauce ... sliced and placed on pizza or topped with a drizzle of good California olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt ... or raw in a tomato salad.

Below you'll find easy tomato recipes that you can enjoy with your summer meals. 
Our Best Tomato Recipes
Spaghetti with Ricotta and Cherry Tomatoes
Spaghetti with Ricotta and Cherry TomatoesThis Italian-style dish shows off the classic pairing of tomatoes, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. A generous dollop of ricotta cheese gives the dish a final flourish. The recipe comes from Made in Italy (Clarkson Potter, 2011), by David Rocco.  

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Tomato Salad with Baby Mozzarella Balls

Tomato Salad with Baby Mozzarella Balls Simple is best. Tomatoes marry well with sweet basil and cremy mozzarella in this summer classic from Viviane Baquet Farre of food & style.
Stuffed Tomatoes
Stuffed Tomatoes Blogger Janelle Maiocco of Talk of Tomatoes stuffs these red gems with breadcrumbs, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese. "So easy," she notes, "yet they add sophistication to any plate."

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Spaghetti with Raw Tomatoes
Spaghetti with Raw Tomatoes Simple comfort food comes together in the form of warm pasta and ripe tomatoes. This pasta appears in Recipes from an Italian Summer (Phaidon Press, 2010).   

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Tomato Salad with Red Onion and Basil
Tomato Salad with Red Onion and Basil "There is something about red ripe tomatoes that says 'summer," restaurateur Frank Pellegrino Jr. notes in his book Rao's On the Grill (St. Martin's Press, 2012). Toss in sliced red onion, fresh basil and a simple dressing and you've got an easy summer salad. 

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Tomato Melon Salad
Tomato Melon Salad Two refreshing seasonal ingredients unite for this summer salad. The recipe appears in David Roccco's Made in Italy (Clarkson Potter, 2011). 

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Talk of Tomatoes with Janelle Maiocco
Janelle Maiocco
Janelle Maiocco On her witty and insightful food blog, Talk of Tomatoes, Janelle Maiocco notes she's "known to wield knives, pitchforks, and the occasional martini." She wears many hats, in addition to being a blogger. A resident of the  Seattle area, Janelle talks with us about being a blogger, professionally trained chef, urban farmer, and entrepreneur. She holds an MBA, works with food product companies and farms, and is founder and CEO of
the tech company Farmstr, which connects local farms with consumers.

How did you come up with the name for your blog?

An affinity for tomatoes and a penchant for alliteration(s). At the time I thought it was clever, but it does make folks think my site is all about tomatoes  - which it's not. It's about:

Food: 'Knives' - I'm a trained chef and practical cook-every-night mom, which roughly translates to approachable weekly meals using cooking methods from restaurant kitchens.

Farm: 'Pitchforks' - I'm an urban farmer, big into food preservation, and often visit/blog about local sustainable farming.

Frolics: 'Martinis' - I love adventure and food-related travel.

What's a favorite tomato dish that's easy, uses extra virgin olive oil, and just two or three ingredients?

My go-to dip and dressing. I dipped focaccia in it years ago at a restaurant, got the recipe and now use it as my go-to salad dressing and to coat countless hunks of artisan bread.

You have an MBA, worked for tech/other companies, and worked for a Congresswoman. How did you become interested in cooking and food?

I used to make pancakes on top of an overturned coffee Sanka can with a burner beneath it. I played restaurant with my stuffed animals and stirred up plastic bobbles. For hours as a little girl I would cut recipes out of mom's stacks of Better Homes and Gardens and Good Housekeeping and paste them into my own cookbook. I have always loved food.

My friends kept asking me for recipes and weeknight inspiration, so seven years ago I started my blog as an easy means to share my go-to recipes. It has evolved into something much greater, including travel to farms, recipe development for food companies, meeting food blogging friends, finding a love for food photography and ultimately: was my excuse to go back to culinary school.

What's your earliest food memory?

Waking up at 5 am, quickly eating a big bowl of cereal, then filling up a thermos with hot chocolate ... part of the routine before going fishing with my dad in the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington state. I would watch the end of my fishing pole for hours - and loved every minute of it.

How do you use California Olive Ranch oil in your cooking?

I have a lot of affinity for California olive oil, as it reminds me of tasting oil in Italy. I love COR's commitment to quality and each year buy my share of 'new' oil (Limited Reserve). 

I use my California Olive Ranch 'new' oil like gold: on salads, sandwiches, and as a stand-alone. I use all other California Olive Ranch oil to liberally coat vegetables for roasting, to poach salmon, make salad dressing, and to start countless sauces.

Click to see our Blog featuring Janelle's cooking advice and time-saving tips