August 2011: Tomatoes

August 2011: Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a versatile fruit

by Suzanne Jolly

Tomatoes go well with any meal, or at least they seem to in my kitchen.  Whether it be in salads, soup, pasta, or sandwiches, tomatoes are a key part of my diet.  This month, instead of highlighting a vegetable that I never eat (as I often do), I thought I would share my favourite recipes, with a focus on one of my favourite fruits. While I await some sunshine so that my tomato plants might actually bear fruit, local markets are carrying lots of tomatoes.  Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C and a primary source of lycopene (an antioxidant) (for more information visit: http://cropedia.landfood.ubc.ca/wiki/Tomatoes), which is great for me right now since I have a cold!

Tomato and Avocado Salad For One

It’s simple but it’s my favourite for a solo snack on a warm summer’s day with some pita bread.

  1. Dice three tomatoes, one avocado and toss with a pinch of sea salt.

Garlic Tomato Pasta Sauce for A Few

Sometimes recipes are even better when you know the story behind their discovery:for New Year’s Day dinner in 2006 during a snowstorm in Whistler, my Italian fighter pilot friend decided to share his mother’s recipe. Before that meal, I think I thought tomato sauce came from cans!

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium high in a large sauce pan.
  2. Finely dice a medium white onion, and sauté it in the oil.
  3. Add three cloves of diced garlic, or more if you love garlic.(For tips on how to do this really well: I just found a great guide about cooking onions and garlic.
  4. Add in 10 medium diced tomatoes. Sauté until desired thickness.
  5. Add a small can of chopped black olives. (Optional)
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste. (I always prefer sea salt)
  7. Pour it over your favourite (preferably whole wheat) pasta, and voila!

Variations to the recipe: you can add basil, cayenne, B.C. spot prawns, diced red pepper, or  flaked tuna to transform this recipe into a wide variety of great dinners/lunches.

Spicy Tomato Basil Soup For Many

Since we are still suffering through rainy weather, I thought I would share this soup as it warms me from the inside out.

  1. In a pot, sauté three finely chopped shallots and a few cloves of diced fresh garlic in two tablespoons of olive oil.
  2. Dice 12 tomatoes and add them to the pot (if I am in a huge hurry, I will use a combination of canned and fresh tomatoes).  If using fresh tomatoes, add a cup of water. Bring to a boil.  Add in a few shakes of cayenne pepper.
  3. Wash and tear a handful of fresh basil leaves. Tearing, as opposed to cutting the leaves, allows for more flavour to be released.
  4. Cover the pot and allow the soup to simmer for a few minutes.  Serve with a basil leaf as garnish (and if you eat dairy (unlike me), then you could add a dollop of low fat sour cream).  Freeze the rest for the next time you need to a good warm up!

If you have a great tomato recipe of your own, please share it in the comments section and you will be entered to win in our monthly draw for a $20 gift card to UBC Food Services!

One Response to “August 2011: Tomatoes”

  1. Jen says:

    This is a pretty simple salad, but its really refreshing and easy to make. The first time I ate this salad was the first time I enjoyed cilantro! Now I appreciate how it mixes with different flavours.

    2 medium fresh tomatos, diced
    1 cup corn (frozen, thawed)
    1 cup black beans
    1/2 red pepper, diced
    1/2 onion, diced
    1 Tbl spoon chopped cilantro
    Dressing (mix to taste): 1/8 cup lime juice, olive oil, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, sriracha

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