Choose firm (not hard) tomatoes, without blemishes.  the hue should be uniform and deeply colored. Ripe tomatoes are fragrant and give slightly to gentle palm pressure. Do not refrigerate or set in the sum.  Store stem-end down at room temperature for only a day or 2 after ripening.  To ripen quickly, place in a paper bag.

With a sharp knife, remove the white core of the tomato around the stem.  Slice or quarter as desired.  Sliced tomatoes are delicious awhen paired with mazzarella cheese.  Alternate slices, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and garnish with fresh basil leaves.