In Season Now: Tomato recipes, how to choose, store and keep

Tomato SaladApproaching September, tomatoes are coming on strong in the grocery stores and in home gardens across the nation. This crop is the #1 homegrown item since they’re pretty easy to grow and, well, homemade always tastes best. If you’re not a gardener, the rising popularity of farmer’s markets (finally!) also makes it easier to source delicious, vine-ripened tomatoes. Since these are my favorite veg… er.. fruit, I get a little excited about this.

To choose the right ones and to keep these savory fruits fresh and scrumptious, here are a few tips plus some recipes to try with tomatoes.

  • Peak season is June – October. Height of heirloom tomatoes is right about now. Heirlooms provide some variety and uniqueness and give a good nod to our forefathers who worked their booties off to create yummy fruit.
  • Choose tomatoes that give slightly to the touch and are not hard.
  • Red tomatoes have the most nutrition because they’re higher in lycopene.
  • Like many things in life, size does not indicate quality. Amazing flavors sometimes arrive in tiny packages.
  • Pesticide residue is fairly low on tomatoes so organic doesn’t really matter as much.
  • Never, ever, put tomatoes in the refrigerator. It will make them mealy and soft.
  • Tomatoes ripen after they are picked but will last about 3-4 days on the counter.

Here’s a great article that teaches how to oven-dry to preserve them over the winter as well as other ways to serve them: Four Easy Tomato techniques

A few of my favorite recipes with tomatoes:

Green Beans with Tomato Garlic Vinaigrette

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Feta

Grilled Chicken with Tomato Avocado Salad

Have a favorite tomato recipe you’d like to share? Please do in the comments section.

 

 

 

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