You Say Tomato
By Mark Mulcahy
were once known as the “edible wolf peach” and “love apples”; nowadays most of us just call them good. And this time of year the flavor is finally what it should be. Tomatoes are a very versatile vegetable (say that 3 times fast). OK, they are actually a fruit – but that’s a much longer story. When you head to the market to pick this Melissa organic summertime delight, make sure to remember these simple rules to choose the best tomatoes.
Take a Look
Look your fruit over closely. Make sure it is free of blemishes and bruises and has a deep, brightly colored skin – dull looking tomatoes will have less flavor.
Not by Color Alone
During certain times of the year, supermarket tomatoes are often picked while they’re still green, which makes them more durable for shipping at the cost of flavor. They ripen in transit, which isn’t uncommon once a tomato has been picked, but some tomatoes are sprayed with ethylene gas to speed up ripening – which, again, will get you a full colored tomato but it won’t give you the satisfying flavor your taste buds are waiting for. It’s best to buy them from a market that has a direct relationship with grower or with the label “vine-ripened.”
Give a Little Bit
When cupped in the palm of your hand, a good tomato is firm enough to resist pressure, but not so hard that it doesn’t react to your touch. It should be heavy for its size as juicier tomatoes are denser, while unripe tomatoes will feel lighter. Check it out next time you are shopping – you’ll be surprised at the difference.
Give Them a Whiff
The old saying that “the nose knows” is true with tomatoes. For the best fruit, smell the tomato at the stem end – it should have a strong, sweet, earthy odor. The more fragrant the smell, the more flavor waiting for you inside.
With all of the wonderful Melissa’s Organic Heirlooms
, Slicers, and Cherry Tomatoes
around right now it is easy to overlook the oval-shaped Roma
. But if you want to throw some tomatoes on the grill, Roma's may be your best bet as their firm texture and rich flavor make them perfect for grilling.
For a new easy recipe that I’m sure you will make it again and again. Try this:
Add all of these ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth:
3 large Ripe Tomatoes
1 cup Almond Milk
1 Ripe Avocado
½ cup Fresh Basil
¼ cup Fresh Oregano
1 teaspoon Himalayan Salt
1 teaspoon Curry Powder
1 teaspoon Freshly Squeezed Lemon
¼ teaspoon Ground Cumin
⅛ teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Pour into a sauce pan over medium heat and stir constantly until hot. Serve with your favorite grilled cheese sandwich or just enjoy by itself.