Recipe of the Week: Tomatoes

Try a new recipe! The Wellness Consortium of Union County has partnered with Union County Farmer's Market to bring you information and healthy recipes that feature locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Vegetable of the Week: Tomatoes tomatoes

Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants may lower the risk of certain diseases, including heart disease, some cancers, and macular degenerative disease.  Tomatoes also contain Vitamin C and A. Tomatoes that are vine-ripened are higher in vitamin C than greenhouse tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes contain more vitamin C than those that are processed or cooked. Though technically a fruit, the tomato is treated as a vegetable. Originally tomatoes were yellow, but today most of those produced in the United States are red. In addition to the standard-sized round tomatoes, there are other varieties, such as plum, pear-shaped, grape and cherry tomatoes.

Selection

Select firm, fragrant fruit with full red color. Avoid bruised, blemished, soft or hard fruit. A tomato’s skin should yield to gentle pressure.

Storage

Keep ripe tomatoes at room temperature; above 55 degrees is recommended. Do not refrigerate under-ripe fruit. Tomatoes will ripen better out of sunlight. Once tomatoes are red and slightly soft, they will keep a day or two at room temperature. Refrigerate only if you want to keep them longer.

Preparation

Wash tomatoes carefully. Peel if you desire. To peel, remove stem core and dip tomatoes in a large quantity of boiling water for 1/2 minute, and then dip in cold water. The skins are easily removed. When using tomato pulp in a recipe, it is a good idea to remove the skin and seeds first, as they toughen when cooked.

    • Raw: The best way to enjoy a tomato is when it is freshly picked! You can even make an uncooked tomato sauce. Peel and seed a tomato, mash it to a pulp, and add minced onions, a little red wine vinegar, and chopped herbs.
    • Broil: Halve large tomatoes, sprinkle with pepper and a little olive oil. Cook four to five minutes, until heated through. Broiled tomatoes make an excellent side dish.
    • Bake: Bake tomato halves (plain, stuffed or with toppings) in a 400 degree F oven for eight to 15 minutes.
    • Microwave: Cook in a covered dish. One pound will take three to four minutes. Use in stews, soups

 2016 Recipe

2016 Tomato Recipe Card

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2015 Recipe

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2014 Recipe

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2013 Recipe

tomato-pepper pasta

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2012 Recipe

Chicken Stew_2012_pub

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