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Top Tomato Preview

Three years in, we can say that the Washington Post Food section's tomato recipe contest for 2009 may offer its best crop of entries ever. Testers are testing, Top Tomato tote bags are being ordered and prizes are being chosen. (To enter, see details here.)

It might have been a little tough to create winning recipes with the tomatoes at markets thus far, which are still mostly hothouse-grown. But today's the last day to enter, and an enterprising cook's gotta dream big.

Here are just a few recipe titles that quickly captured our attention:

* African Fried Green Tomatoes
* Rustic Tomato and Basil Pie With Garlic Mayo
* Tangy Tomato Tonic
* Fried Tomatoes Benedict

And here are two things last-minute participants should keep in mind:

* Indicate the number of servings, so we'll be able to run nutritional analyses.
* Using fresh tomatoes or home-canned tomatoes is preferable. 'Tis the season, after all.

Just about everybody has their favorite ways of cooking with tomatoes -- even if they follow someone else's lead. A friend of mine just made that old Silver Palate concoction of brie, basil and slices of tomato all layered and left to meld at room temperature. Man, that was eatin' in the big '80s.

What recipes (published or otherwise) have you had the best luck with? Here's a chance to pay homage to the real thing, coming soon to a farmers market near you.

-- Bonnie Benwick

By The Food Section  |  July 15, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
 | Tags: Top Tomato 2009, contests, recipes  
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