June 14, 2007

Recipe News: Tomato season: recipes for the versatile fruit

Whether we say tomato, tomahhto, love apple, or pomme d'amour, and whether we think of a tomato as a vegetable, a berry, or a fruit (which it is), we all relish its arrival in our gardens and farmers markets in the coming month.

This fruit, as it is botanically classified, is in season from late June through September. There are hundreds of varieties of tomatoes, the most familiar being the oval plum (or roma) tomato, the round tomato, and the smaller cherry and grape tomatoes. Though all are delicious, each has unique qualities that make it the perfect choice for its own array of culinary dishes.

Plum tomatoes, sometimes called Italian tomatoes, are meaty and thick-skinned. They are less juicy than their counterparts and work best cooked in a sauce, chopped fine in a relish or salsa, or layered on a pizza crust, where their firm texture and lack of moisture will add delicious flavors without making the crust soggy. The most celebrated plum tomatoes are those grown in San Marzano, a town just outside of Naples, Italy. San Marzano tomatoes are only imported to the United States in cans. They are sold under a number of different labels, all of which will specify "San Marzano." I recommend using them only when local fresh plum tomatoes are out of season.

The round tomato, the one most of us think of for slicing, probably has the most number of varieties. These tomatoes vary in color, size, and flavor. Most important, they taste nothing like the varieties available at your local supermarket off season. Whether they come from your garden or a farmer's markets, all varieties are juicy, aromatic, and bursting with flavor.

Includes recipes for:

  • Mediterranean Tomato Salad

  • Roasted Veggie Pasta

Full article here.

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Posted by Jennifer at June 14, 2007 7:41 AM
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