It's mid July and it's officially tomato season! For many Italians, this is a wonderful time of year where fresh sauces are made. Have you had a grape tomato off the vine? I highly recommend it. I realize not everyone gets as excited as I do for tomato season. Perhaps some people are not aware of all the wonderful things can be done with tomatoes this time of year?
I'm going to attempt to convert the non-tomato people and get everyone excited for tomato season.
Ready? Let's do this!
I’d like to start with the benefits of eating tomatoes. They are:
- Rich in vitamin A and vitamin C (antioxidants)
- Aid in vision improvement
- Help control your blood sugar due to the high level of chromium
- Can help lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol
Not yet? Ok, not to worry, I have plenty of juicy tomato information in my arsenal 🙂
Common Tomato Varieties
There are hundreds of types of tomatoes, but not all of them are available to everyone. So let’s look at the three most common ones.
a.k.a. Beefsteak, Slicing or Globe tomatoes
These are the big, bright tomatoes that can weigh in at up to a pound. They are very juicy and work best when eaten raw. They slice very well and have a great, rich flavor.
- Slice them up as a topping for a sandwich or on a burger.
- Cut them into wedges and sprinkle a little salt and pepper on them for a healthy snack.
- Slice them and pair with some fresh mozzarella and drizzle some balsamic vinegar on top.
- Chop them up to use in a salad.
- Dice them and add some garlic and basil for fresh tomato basil bruschetta.
Sound delicious, right?
a.k.a. Plum Tomatoes
When you’re looking for a great tomato to make sauce, Romas are your go-to tomato. They have thick walls and thin skin, with few seeds. Plus they have minimal juice, so they’re bursting with tangy tomato flavor.
- Blend them to make the different sauces
- Saute them with chicken and other vegetables
- Slice them up and add to salads where you don’t want too much juice.
Are you hungry yet?
a.k.a. Grape, Cherry and Sweet 100 Tomatoes
These might be my favorite tomato variety. Every time I go out pick them off the vine, they’re all gone before I get back inside. They are wonderfully sweet and loved by children and adults. Different types of mini tomatoes come in different colors, including red, golden yellow, and orange. They are delicious both raw and cooked.
- Eat them whole for a sweet, healthy snack.
- Let them give your next kebab a little extra flavor.
- Give them a quick saute with garlic and herbs in oil to make a quick sauce.
Ready to give tomatoes another chance?
In the summer months, farmer’s markets have amazing tomatoes. When you’re picking out your tomatoes look for ones with bold coloring. They should feel firm, not squishy or really hard. And they should have a strong tomato aroma. Once you get them back home, keep them out in room temperature. Tomatoes do not need to be refrigerated, as it can affect their texture. They should last a couple days.
Watch for new tomato recipes to try over the coming weeks.