Veggie of the week: Tomatoes Tomatoes have been ranked the fourth most popular vegetable among food eaters in the US. Ironically, the tomato is technically a fruit but nutritionally it processes in the human body like a vegetable. Great news, tomatoes provide us with a huge list of benefits if we choose wisely, store wisely and prepare wisely. History: Though currently popular in the Mediterranean diet, the tomato originated in western South America. Ships returning home from Mexican ports brought tomatoes home to their European countries where, depending on the reception of the particular court, tomatoes were immediately showcased or left to gradually gain their current status. How to choose the most nutritious tomato:
1. Tomatoes are a delicate fruit:
A. The sooner you eat a tomato from the vine the more beneficial it
will be to your body. Nutrition dissipates with time. B. These fruit/veggies will draw everything they can get from the environment including pesticides so, CSA member, by choosing pesticide free, organic tomatoes from Spoutwood Farm you are choosing a nutritious and safe food.
2. Tomatoes are colorful juicy fruits. The more brilliant and deep the color the more nutritious a tomato is for you. The color is an indication of the proportion of a given nutrient the tomato offers:
A. For examples, red tomatoes have more lycopene than orange tomatoes; yellow tomatoes have less acid than red tomatoes; purple tomatoes have the antioxidant that blueberries have to reduce free radicals and thereby stave off cancer growth. B. Tomatoes come in all sizes and textures as well which allow all
sorts of serving options. For examples, Roma tomatoes are meaty and make great sauces while Brandywines sliced can hold up in a sandwich nicely. A platter of yellow, orange, striped, red, and purple tomatoes drizzles with olive oil which salt and pepper is a treat for the eyes and the stomach.
Lore: Tomatoes fall into the nightshade family which when the plant was introduced to Europe in the 16th Century, carried negative magic. For over one hundred years people worried that this vegetable might poison them with the sin of lust. Health benefits: Generally, tomatoes offer an enormous set of health benefits:
• Lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.
• Raise cardiovascular health.
• Promote digestion.
• Protect skin from UV damage.
• Reduce inflammation (asthma).
• Increase cognitive health. Storage and Prep: Eat as many tomatoes as you can ripe from the garden. If picked early i.e. not fully ripe, let them ripen on a sunny spot of the kitchen counter. If tomatoes are ripe but you can’t eat them right away, store them in a container in the door or the refrigerator (where it’s cool but a bit warmer than the middle of the fridge) and you will get 1-‐2 more days. Research indicates that cooking red tomatoes actually augments the benefits of some nutrients in tomatoes, especially those that benefit the cardiovascular system. Avoid using aluminum pots/pans since that metal will leach into your sauce and aluminum is a carcinogen. Ideally use a stainless steel pan to cook tomato sauce. Recipes:
• Rinse tomatoes then cut out stem cores.
• Slice tomatoes about 1⁄2 inch thick and arrange on a platter.
• Drizzle with olive oil.
• Season with salt and pepper, grated hard cheese, basil....to taste. SS
2. Hearty Hot or Cold Roasted Tomato Soup
Recipe By:Rosa "A summer/fall specialty, blending the flavors of garden fresh basil and juicy tomatoes. Make this soup when you are feeling tomato rich."
• 2 pounds Roma (plum) tomatoes, quartered
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 4 cloves garlic
• 1 quart chicken stock
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
• 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
• salt to taste
• ground black pepper to taste
1. Place the tomato halves, cut side up, on a baking tray with the garlic
cloves. Drizzle with the oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast at 375 degrees F (195 degrees C) for 1 hour. 2. Snip the ends off the garlic cloves, and squeeze the insides into the bowl of a food processor along with the entire contents of the baking tray. Add stock, basil, and vinegar; blend until smooth. Season to taste. Serve either hot or cold.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2018 Allrecipes.com Printed From Allrecipes.com 8/9/2018
3. Traditional tabouli salad recipe with parsley, mint, bulgur wheat, finely chopped vegetables and a zesty dressing.
• 1/2 cup extra fine bulgur wheat
• 4 firm Roma tomatoes, very finely chopped
• 1 English cucumber (hothouse cucumber), very finely chopped
• 2 bunches parsley, part of the stems removed, washed and well-‐dried, very finely chopped
• 12-‐15 fresh mint leaves, stems removed, washed, well-‐dried, very finely chopped
• 4 green onions, white and green parts, very finely chopped
• 3-‐4 tbsp lime juice (lemon juice, if you prefer)
• 3-‐4 tbsp Early Harvest extra virgin olive oil
• Romaine lettuce leaves to serve, optional
1. Wash the bulgur wheat and soak it in water for 5-‐7 minute. Drain very
well (squeeze the bulgur wheat by hand to get rid of any excess water). Set aside.
2. Very finely chop the vegetables, herbs and green onions as indicated
above. Be sure to place the tomatoes in a colander to drain excess juice.
3. Place the chopped vegetables, herbs and green onions in a mixing bowl
or dish. Add the bulgur and season with salt. Mix gently.
4. Now add the the lime juice and olive oil and mix again.
5. For best results, cover the tabouli and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Transfer to a serving platter. If you like, serve the tabouli with a side of pita and romaine lettuce leaves, which act as wraps or “boats” for the tabouli.
6. Other appetizers to serve next to tabouli salad:Hummus; Baba
Ganoush; or Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
• The finer you chop the vegetables, the better. See additional tips above.
• To serve a smaller crowd, simply cut the recipe in half.
• You can keep tabouli refrigerated in a tight-lid container for 2 days or so. It’s important to try and drain some of the juice out before refrigerating leftover tabouli.
4.Jo Cooks Pizza Dough Recipe (Because you can simply add any toppings you care to add, pizza makes a delicious plate for tomatoes et. al.
Prep Time 10 mins Total Time 10 mins Making pizza dough at home couldn't get any easier than with my simple pizza dough recipe. You'll never want to buy or order pizza again.
Course: Bread Cuisine: Italian Servings: 8 Calories: 312 kcal Author: Joanna Cismaru Ingredients
• 1 1/2 cup water warm
• 1 tsp sugar
• 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 package)
• 4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp salt
• 1/3 cup olive oil Instructions
1. In a small bowl whisk the water, sugar and yeast together. Let it sit for
about 10 minutes. If the yeast is good, it will start to froth up. 2. In the bowl of your mixer, add the flour and salt, olive oil and yeast
mixture. Mix everything together using the dough hook for about 5 minutes or until the dough is soft and elastic. When it's done it will come clean from the side of the bowl. 3. Shape the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, rubbing oil on
the dough as well, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. If you're not using the dough right away, you can also freeze the dough. Recipe Notes Yeast Information: Always check the expiration date on your yeast and make sure it hasn't expired. All your yeast products whether it’s in a jar or a package should be stamped with a “Best if Used by” date. Always make sure you check this date, even when you purchase the yeast, who knows it could have been on the shelf past its expiry date.
To keep your yeast fresh and longer lasting, unopened yeast packages or jars should be stored in a cool or dry place such as your cupboard. However, you can also store your yeast in the fridge or freezer. If you do store it in
the freezer and need to use yeast for your baking, make sure you take out the amount you need and let it sit at room temperature for at least half hour before using.
Once your yeast package or jar has been opened, you must refrigerate the yeast or freeze it in an airtight container.
One thing to remember about your yeast, is that it is a living organism and over time it will lose activity, even if you’ve never opened the jar or package. So if you don’t bake often, buy the smaller yeast packages rather than a big jar of yeast.
Make sure your water is not too hot or it could kill the yeast which will cause your dough not to rise at all. The ideal temperature for the water should be between 105 F degrees and 110 F for proofing. While 95 F degrees is the best temperature for yeast to multiply, that's not warm enough for proofing active dry yeast.
Can I use instant yeast: Yes, if using instant yeast, you do not need to wait for it to froth up, you can just add all the ingredients to your bowl and mix.
Can I freeze the dough: Yes, for sure. Just place the dough in a large freezer plastic bag, let out as much of the air as possible and freeze for up to 3 months.
How do I bake the pizza: Preheat your oven to its highest temperature, mine goes to 550 F. You can use a pizza stone or a baking sheet just make sure you spray some cooking spray over the baking sheet. If using a pizza stone, heat it up first. Once you top your pizza, bake it for 8 to 10 minutes or until the crust is golden to dark brown.
Nutrition: Nutritional information is just based on pizza dough. Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.