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

(Last Updated On: 08/31/2014)

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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