During the summer, I find myself eating lots of locally-grown, ripe and juicy tomatoes. Have you ever experienced a farmer’s market heirloom tomato? It’s so juicy and tasty – you must give one a try!
This is one of my favorite ways to eat tomatoes – sliced with a little olive oil, sea salt and pepper or sliced with a fresh basil leaf with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It’s an easy appetizer before a meal or as a nice light meal on these hot summer nights.
Tomatoes can be red, yellow, orange, green or brown in color and can come in a variety of sizes from small cherry tomatoes to the large beefsteak variety.
The tomato is a low-calorie food packed with nutrition, especially when it is ripe. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, carotenes (especially lycopene), biotin, and vitamin K and a good source of vitamin B6, niacin, folic acid and dietary fiber.
The red varieties contain the highest amount of lycopene, which can neutralize harmful oxygen free radicals before they damage your cells. Lycopene has been shown to protect against cancers, such as breast, prostate, colon, lung and skin, as well as lower risk of heart disease, cataracts and macular degeneration.
They are perfect sliced, in salads, in soups, roasted or grilled.
Tips on Choosing Tomatoes:
1) Purchase organic tomatoes to lessen the pesticide residue that can be harmful.
2) Avoid purchasing tomatoes that are too soft or show signs of bruising.
3) Ripe tomatoes will yield to slight pressure and will have a sweet fragrance.
4) Store them at room temperature and out of direct sun light.
5) If they are getting too ripe or you want to stop the ripening process, place them in the refrigerator or in a paper bag with a banana.
Try this great recipe for an appetizer for all of your summer BBQs. It’s quick and easy to put together and everyone loves caprese!
** Follow this recipe on Sunday and make enough eggs for a week's worth of snacks ans meals for the family.
- 1 package cherry or small tomatoes
- Fresh basil leaves
- Fresh mozzarella, preferably the small balls
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Have all ingredients washed and ready.
- If tomatoes and mozzarella are larger than bite-size, then cut in half.
- Use small basil leaves or tear into bite-size pieces.
- Place a tomato on each toothpick, followed by the basil leaf and then the slice of mozzarella.
- Arrange on your platter or plate.
- Season with sea salt and pepper.
- Using the cap of the olive oil, pour a few drop over each caprese.
- Do the same with the balsamic vinegar.
These are perfect for a party appetizer. I love to make a large batch and take some to work for a quick snack.
Enjoy your tomatoes and share this blog with all your girlfriends!