As a kid, I ate so many summer tomatoes my mouth hurt from all the acid.

With nearly every summer supper, we had a thick slice of ripe tomato with just a little salt and pepper or a crisp cucumber and tomato salad. And that doesn’t count all the BLT’s (or just tomato) sandwiches I scarfed down for lunch.

This year I've gone a little beyond tomato slices and salads — although I still greatly enjoy both.

I Eat La.: Recipes for Mushroom Marinara, Fried Eggplant, Canteloupe Granita

I stirred fresh tomatoes into this rustic Mushroom Marinara made with locally-grown mushrooms. Patience is the key to getting the consistency of this sauce just right. To make it a little heartier, add shrimp or Italian sausage.

The early summer season also means there are eggplants of all sizes and plump, sweet cantaloupes piled high on the tables at the farmers market. The eggplants, cut into thick slices and fried, made a crispy, sturdy bed for my sauce. And, after our meal, and a light summer rain, we enjoyed refreshing cantaloupe granites on the porch as the sun went down.