3 quick recipes for peak-of-the-season tomatoes

Pasta fredda with cherry tomatoes, anchovies and herbs.
Pasta fredda with cherry tomatoes, anchovies and herbs. The New York Times

We’re in tomato thrall. Real tomatoes are back, in all their tomatoey glory.

These recipes all use anchovies; they play well with tomatoes. Go for the best anchovies you can find. They cost a few dollars more, but they’re much better than the standard product. Look for oil-packed anchovies from Spain, southern France or Italy.

Chopped anchovies added to a dressing, or an anchovy fillet draped casually over a salad, provide a meaty, savory umami, not just saltiness. It’s a perfect match for sweet, ripe tomatoes.

Tomato tart with fresh mozzarella and anchovies

Total time: 1 1/2 hours; yield: 4 to 6 servings

2 cups/250 grams all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning tomatoes

1/4 cup extra-virgin oil, plus 2 tablespoons and a little more to grease the pan

1 egg, beaten

1 large garlic clove, grated

1 cup thinly sliced onion

2 large tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick and blotted

Ground black pepper

1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

A few pitted niçoise olives, optional

A few capers, optional

8 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry

Make the dough: Put flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a mixing bowl. Drizzle in 1/4 cup oil, egg and 1/4 cup cold water, then mix quickly with hands to make a soft dough. If dough seems dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Form dough into a rough rectangle, wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. On a flour-dusted surface, divide dough in half. Roll out one piece to a rectangle approximately 9-by-12 inches (reserve other piece for future use, or to make a second tart).

Stir 2 tablespoons olive oil and the garlic together in a small bowl. Put rolled dough on lightly greased baking sheet. Drizzle surface of dough with garlic oil. Scatter onion slices over dough. Arrange tomato slices over dough in one layer without crowding, then season with salt and pepper. Top tomatoes with torn mozzarella slices in one layer. Tuck olives and capers here and there, if using. Drape top of tart with intermittently placed anchovy fillets.

Bake for 6 minutes on bottom shelf of oven, then transfer to top shelf and bake for another 6 minutes or until nicely browned. Let cool slightly, then cut into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pasta fredda with cherry tomatoes, anchovies and herbs

Total time: 30 minutes; yield: 4 to 6 servings

1 small red onion, finely diced, about 1/2 cup

Salt and pepper

4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and chopped, about 1 tablespoon

2 garlic cloves, sliced

Pinch of crushed red pepper

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 tablespoons fruity extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to drizzle

1 teaspoon chopped fresh summer savory or marjoram

1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes, in halves or quarters

1 pound dry pasta, such as spaghetti or linguine

Handful of torn basil leaves

Put red onion in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add anchovies, garlic, red pepper and vinegar. Stir in olive oil and savory. Add the cherry tomatoes, season with salt, and toss well to coat. Keep mixture cool (or refrigerate) for up to 3 hours.

Boil pasta in a large pot of well-salted water until al dente, then drain and transfer to a wide low pasta bowl. Add cherry tomato mixture and toss well to coat. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve at room temperature, garnished with basil.

Charred Tomatoes With Egg, Anchovies and Breadcrumbs

Total time: 30 minutes; yield: 4 to 6 servings

1 day-old baguette or French loaf, crust removed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)

Extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

2 cloves garlic, smashed to a paste or grated

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 pounds firm, ripe tomatoes

4 large eggs, hard-cooked for 8 minutes, peeled and halved

8 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry

Basil leaves, for garnish

Parsley leaves, for garnish

Crushed red pepper, for garnish

Make the breadcrumbs: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put bread cubes in a mixing bowl, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper and toss well. Spread on a baking sheet in one layer and bake uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Set aside to cool. When cool, crush into very coarse crumbs.

Make the vinaigrette: Put the garlic in a small bowl with the vinegar, mustard and a pinch of salt. Whisk in 1/4 cup of olive oil. Set aside.

Prepare a charcoal grill or light the broiler. Cut larger tomatoes into 1-inch-thick slices or leave smaller ones whole. Place tomatoes on the hottest part of the grill and let them char for about 3 minutes on one side if using a broiler, or place tomatoes on a baking sheet as close to the flame as possible. Tomatoes should still be firm.

Place tomatoes and eggs on a platter or divide among 4 plates. Sprinkle lightly with salt and spoon dressing over. Drape anchovy fillets over eggs and add a generous handful of breadcrumbs. Garnish with basil, parsley and crushed red pepper.