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