Tomatoes

1 Aug

Description

Nothing beats a fresh, juicy, red tomatoes right out of the garden!  But they come in other colors too- red, yellow, & orange!  Check out below for a fried green tomato recipe.  Tomatoes some in all shapes and sizes too.

Nutrition

  • Tomatoes are low fat & very low in sodium
  • Tomatoes are saturated fat free & cholesterol free
  • Tomatoes are high in vitamin A & C
  • Tomatoes are a good sources of potassium

Selection

Choose tomatoes with bright, shiny skins and firm flesh.

Preparation

Just wash & slice, dice, quarter, or cube!

Ways to Enjoy

  • Just slice and eat them fresh!
  • Try this healthy tomato vinaigrette

In a blender, combine a chopped tomato, 2 Tablespoons of vinegar (white wine or balsamic), 1 Tablespoon                                olive oil, ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard, and your favorite herbs (basil, thyme, etc)

  • Stuff tomatoes with a filling of your choice
  • Make salsa- here is one to try:

Chopped fresh tomatoes, finely chopped jalapeno peppers, chopped cucumber, 1 small onion, chopped                                       cilantro and lime juice.  Add black beans, corn, or chopped olives if you want!

  • Slice tomatoes about ½ inch think. Sprinkle with seasoned breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 until tomatoes are almost soft.

Storage

Store at room temperature away from direct sunlight, for use within 1 week after ripe. Tomatoes taste best if not refrigerated, refrigerate only if you cannot use them before they spoil.

Recipes

Fried Green Tomatoes

Fried green tomatoes are a southern tradition made famous by the movie of the same name. They are so popular in the south that gardeners plant extra slicing tomatoes to be harvested green for this recipe.

4 green tomatoes, cut in 1/4-inch slices
1 cup flour
1 egg beaten with cup skim milk
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon each salt and black pepper
Canola oil for frying

1. Assemble ingredients. Spread flour on a sheet of waxed paper or on a plate. Put the egg wash in a shallow dish.

2. Spread the cornmeal on a sheet of waxed paper or plate, add salt and pepper, and mix well.

3. Dredge the tomato slices in flour and shake off the excess.

4. Dip each slice in the egg wash and drain off excess, and then coat with the cornmeal, shaking off excess gently. Place on a tray and set aside.

5. Heat the oil in a large heavy (preferably cast iron) skillet over a medium flame. When hot, add the tomato slices. Do not overcrowd the skillet. Cook several minutes, until golden, then turn. Drain on paper towels and serve while still hot. Makes 5 servings.

Grilled Tomato Kebabs

Small tomatoes such as cherry, current or pear tomatoes are best eaten raw or briefly cooked. They are perfect for skewering and grilling because they do not fall apart, unless overcooked. If you are using wooden skewers, soak them for 30 minutes in cold water before using.

36 small tomatoes, such as Cherry, Ping Pong, or Yellow Pear
1 tablespoon olive oil
teaspoon each, salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Six wooden or metal skewers

1. Wash and drain tomatoes. Using a paper towel, dry each or spread on towels and allow to air dry so the oil will stick to the skins

2. Place the dry tomatoes in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with oregano and pepper. Toss to coat tomatoes.

3. Thread 6 tomatoes, spaced at least an inch apart, on each of the 6 skewers.

4. Brush hot grill grate with oil to prevent sticking. Arrange skewers on grate. Grill 2 to 4 minutes. Turn and grill the other side for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove skewers and sprinkle with salt, if desired. Makes 6 servings

(image source: makeitfromscratch.blogspot.com)

Sources

Produce for Better Health Foundation (2011). Fruit & Vegetable Nutrition Database. Retrieved from http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org

University of Illinois Extension. (2011). Watch Your Garden Grow. http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/tomato.cfm

 

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