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National Tomato Month

If August isn’t National Tomato Month, it should be (actually it’s October).

The days are hot and long, perfect for growing big, round, firm, rich, juicy, ripe tomatoes that are bursting with flavor and begging to be eaten. Buying Melissa’s tomatoes means you don’t have to settle for just the standard slicer that you find in most stores throughout the year. As you know, Melissa’s always has the best- tasting tomatoes for you to choose from, all year long. But at this time of year you can choose from a much wider Melissa’s selection of colors and flavors during these dog days of summer. Choose from Heirlooms for salads, Romas for grilling and sauce, or beefsteaks the size of a softball for fresh tomato sandwiches. Hmmm, hmmm good! And speaking of sandwiches with tomatoes on them, did you see this recipe when you were on our home page?

Grilled Sausage, Veggie and Organic Tomato Sandwich
Image of Grilled Sausage, Veggie and Organic Tomato Sandwich
1/4 cup Real Mayonnaise
3 cloves Melissa’s Peeled Garlic, minced
1/2 Melissa’s Organic Lemon, juice, freshly squeezed
4 Spicy Italian Sausage Links (approx. 3 ounces each)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as needed
8 ounces Melissa’s Fire Roasted Sweet Red Bell Peppers, drained
1 Melissa’s Organic Zucchini sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 Yellow Crookneck Squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 Melissa’s Maui Onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 Melissa’s Organic Tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
Salt and Pepper, to taste
4 French Bread Rolls, halved
8 slices Baby Swiss Cheese

Mix together the first three ingredients and place in the refrigerator. Heat barbecue grill to high heat. Grill the sausage until completely cooked through. Remove from the grill and set aside to rest. Meanwhile, brush all of the vegetables, except for the bell peppers, with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill on both sides, until heated through and you have nice grill marks.

To Assemble
Spread the mayonnaise over both sides of the bread. Split the sausages in half and place on the bread. Evenly divide the vegetables among the bread and top with the cheese.

A great sandwich with a glass of iced tea or an ice-cold beer. I would also add that you could easily substitute a nice veggie brat if you aren’t eating meat or are entertaining some vegetarians for lunch. As you can see, just the mention of good tomatoes can lead you off on a tangent. So back to my point: I say with all of this choice we should make it unofficial tomato month at the store where you buy all of your Melissa’s produce. You don’t need permission or big promotions, you just need some delicious Melissa’s tomatoes. Start by loading up on Melissa’s heirlooms, such as my favorite

Black Krim – dark red with greenish tops, these have a sweet and savory flavor, great for sandwiches and sauce. Brandywine –this Amish heirloom variety dates back to the late 1800's, a bit fragile but worth the extra care. Or even some yellow one’s like a Marvel Stripe, which is a great late season heirloom that is usually large, has yellow-orange fruits with red stripes and is sweet and fruity. You get the idea… Then move on to Melissa’s Roma tomatoes and start thinking about easy sauce and salsa-making recipes. There is nothing like the taste of homemade tomato sauce/salsa, and in these budget-conscious times when we are all looking for ways to stretch our dollar, I’m sure you will appreciate the opportunity to try something made in your own kitchen. And it wouldn’t be tomato month without cherry tomatoes, right?
Image of tomato salad
Choose from a whole slew of these multicolored beauties. I love this time of year because you can mix and match, Red Pear Sungold, Sweet 100, Yellow Currant, or a host of many others. Added to a salad or a sauté you’ll taste a new bit of summer sunshine in every bite.
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