Although I couldn’t grow a beefsteak tomato in a hundred years in my Seattle backyard, the smallest varieties grow reasonably well in a warm year (read: not this year). So I’ve had the opportunity to get to know and love cherry tomatoes of every color. The reds are reliable, the yellow pears add variety, the purpley-blacks are tangy and sweet. But the loveliest of them all, for both flavor and looks, is the orange-bright Sungold tomato. Use them here if you have them. Grow them next year if you don’t.This is my kind of pasta dish because it’s equal parts vegetables and pasta. You can serve it as a warm pasta or a cold salad. We had it once alongside grilled salmon and another night with other salads and a frittata wedge. It’s vegan all by itself, but nobody would ever notice. I like the poppy, slippery coucous rounds, but nobody will know to complain if you use orzo instead.
Israeli Couscous with Zucchini, Sungold Tomatoes, and Basil Oil: Saute a pound of diced zucchini with a diced sweet onion until browned in places and soft, then season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, cook a cup of Israeli coucous (also called pearl couscous) in plenty of boiling salted water until tender but not mushy, about 5 minutes, then drain and rinse. Add couscous to the pan of zucchini along with most of a pint of halved Sungold tomatoes (or substitute other cherry tomatoes if you must) and several finely-shredded leaves of basil. Spoon a few Tbsp. of basil oil over the pasta. Toss, taste and adjust the flavors, then garnish with more halved tomatoes and basil.