July through September is the time to scoop ’em up! Use these tips to pick the best of the best.
beefsteak tomato with salt
Photography by Christopher Testani
| Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

BUY: There's no such thing as a bad tomato this time of year—though you're most likely to find the freshest (and most flavorful) vine-ripened ones at the farmers' market. Common varieties, like beefsteak tomatoes, are great for summertime BLTs, and sweet cherry tomatoes are perfect for snacking. For tomato salads—and for impressing guests!—splurge on heirloom tomatoes, which are older varieties that often have a more pronounced flavor (and taste better than they look). 

STORE: Tomatoes do best stored in a single layer at room temperature away from direct sunlight. Eat farmers' market tomatoes within 2 to 3 days. 

PREP: This is the easy part: Wash them, remove the stems, slice, sprinkle with sea salt—then gobble them up!