These 20 summer recipes are a perfect way to cook all your fresh, ripe tomatoes.

There are lots of recipes out there that simply use tomatoes to thicken sauce or for the sole purpose of adding a bit of color to a dish. However, summer is tomato season, and it would be a shame not to think outside the can and let this deliciously ripe red vegetable star in a few dishes of its own. Below, we round up 20 of our best recipes that showcase fresh tomatoes. Creamy Polenta with Garden Tomato Sauce and Sausage [caption id="attachment_331216" align="alignnone" width="487"] Jessica Merchant[/caption] The 18 plum tomatoes featured in the sauce served atop this creamy polenta makes for a blend that's much tastier than a store-bought sauce that’s been sitting on the shelf for weeks.   Roasted Pepper and Tomato Salsa [caption id="attachment_331217" align="alignnone" width="487"] Matt Armendariz[/caption] Tossing tomatoes in olive oil and roasting them alongside other summer veggies will maximize flavors.   Triple Tomato Soup [caption id="attachment_331218" align="alignnone" width="487"] Kate Whitaker[/caption] Once you make this fresh tomato soup, you’ll never be able to go back to eating the canned version again. You’ll need sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and six large ripe ones in a variety of your choice.   Comte and Tomato Gratin [caption id="attachment_331219" align="alignnone" width="487"] Comté Cheese Association / Nickie Sizemore[/caption] Comte is a strong, slightly sweet French cheese which perfectly complements the taste of fresh tomatoes when paired with the crunchy breadcrumbs atop this gratin.   Balsamic Roasted Tomato Sauce [caption id="attachment_331215" align="alignnone" width="487"] Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn[/caption] This homemade sauce has extra depth and complexity thanks to the blackened tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.   Ricotta, Buffalo Mozzarella, Oregano, and Cherry Tomato Pizza [caption id="attachment_331221" align="alignnone" width="487"] John von Pamer[/caption] Pizzas often feature tomatoes in the form of sauce, however, this recipe puts cherry tomatoes front and center, with no other toppings besides ricotta and buffalo mozzarella cheese.   Marinated Grilled Grape Tomatoes Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best. These tomatoes are charred over hot coals on the grill and then marinated with fresh herbs for a truly summery taste.   Stuffed Tomatoes with Panko and Summer Vegetables Filling [caption id="attachment_331222" align="alignnone" width="487"] High Cotton Food Styling and Photography[/caption] Not only are these tomatoes fresh, they’re also stuffed with diced seasonal vegetables for a double helping of summery goodness. The panko (or Japanese breadcrumbs) helps round out the filling and makes this an excellent vegetarian entree option.   Tomato Party Salad [caption id="attachment_331220" align="alignnone" width="487"] Chronicle Books[/caption] This colorful salad combines three kinds of fresh tomatoes—yellow cherry, red cherry, and green—with fregola, a Sardinian pasta. If your local grocery store doesn’t carry fregola, you can swap it out for couscous.   Stewed Okra and Tomatoes [caption id="attachment_331224" align="alignnone" width="487"] Ditte Isager[/caption] Tomatoes pair well with okra (another summer vegetable), and can help mitigate the “slimy” texture okra is known for. Try the two stewed together in this News Orleans-inspired recipe.   Indian-Spiced Fresh Tomato Soup [caption id="attachment_331226" align="alignnone" width="487"] Andrews McMeel Publishing[/caption] This spicy version of classic tomato soup takes its cues from Indian cuisine. Be sure to plan ahead though, because this recipe will take at least four hours in the slow cooker before it’s ready to slurp down.   Herbed Tomato Salad [caption id="attachment_331225" align="alignnone" width="487"] Mark Boughton Photogrpahy / styling by Teresa Blackburn[/caption] Only the freshest and juiciest ripe tomatoes will do for this savory salad, which is tossed with a Vidalia onion, bell peppers, olives, and mozzarella ciliegine (fresh mozzarella shaped into small balls).   Tomato, Squash, and Zucchini Gratin [caption id="attachment_331229" align="alignnone" width="487"] Penny De Los Santos[/caption] This recipe is a great template for making a gratin with whichever vegetables are in season, but tomatoes are the real star of this particular version, which calls for 2 ½ pounds of the red produce.   Lemon Rosemary Cherry Tomato Skewers [caption id="attachment_331228" align="alignnone" width="487"] Steve Legato[/caption] These vegetables skewers are easy to put together and throw on the grill next to whatever main dish you’re cooking. Any small tomatoes will work, and if your rosemary stalks are sturdy enough, you can use them as skewers for added flavor.   Marinated Buffalo Mozzarella and Tomatoes [caption id="attachment_331227" align="alignnone" width="487"] Chronicle Books[/caption] This simple starter is a variation on the traditional Italian Caprese salad. There’s a reason the combination of tomatoes and mozzarella is tried and true—the tangy, soft cheese really sets off the savory taste of the marinated tomatoes.   Stuffed Tomatoes with Orzo and Boursin [caption id="attachment_331234" align="alignnone" width="487"] High Cotton Food Styling and Photography[/caption] The orzo and Boursin cheese melts together to create a flavorful filling for these stuffed tomatoes. Add the Boursin one spoonful at a time to make sure the filling melts together perfectly.   Roasted Tomatoes, Beans, and Onion Casserole [caption id="attachment_331230" align="alignnone" width="487"] Andrea Wyner[/caption] This crustless vegetarian casserole is a great entree option for a lighter seasonal dinner. Even though it doesn’t include meat, between the tomatoes, beans, and onions this is still a hearty dish.   Gluten-free Heirloom Tomato Tart [caption id="attachment_331233" align="alignnone" width="487"] Shauna James Ahern[/caption] The gluten-free crust and Parmesan and chevre cheese filling provide a simple culinary backdrop to showcase your best heirloom tomatoes.   Cantaloupe and Tomato Salad [caption id="attachment_331232" align="alignnone" width="487"] Photography: Mark Boughton / Styling by Teresa Blackburn[/caption] Cantaloupe and tomato may seem like an unusual combination, but the sweetness of the cantaloupe helps balance out the acidity of the tomatoes. Plus, both main ingredients are summer produce, ensuring this will become a fresh seasonal favorite.   No-Cook Tomato Sauce [caption id="attachment_331231" align="alignnone" width="487"] Photography: Mark Boughton / Styling by Teresa Blackburn[/caption] This super simple, no-cook tomato sauce is perfect for those long summer days when you can’t spend one more minute in a hot kitchen. Just chop the tomatoes, toss with the other ingredients, and let stand at room temperature for several hours.   This article originally appeared as on Relish