fruit veggies: tomatoes

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Fruit + veggies 101
Tomato

By Leigh Felesky
First published in Chatelaine’s May 2003 issue.
© Rogers Publishing Ltd.

From pizza to fettuccine–not to mention french fries with ketchup–it’s hard to imagine food without tomatoes. This fruit (and yes, it is a fruit) is loaded with vitamin C and has been known to protect against heart disease. Native to the Americas, you can find the “love apple,” as it has been called in Europe, in supermarkets all year-round.


How to buy

• Choose those deep in colour, heavy for their size and firm but not hard.
• The smell should be fragrant and yield to gentle pressure.
• Tomatoes with vines attached keep longer.

How to store

• Avoid storing tomatoes in the refrigerator, they will lose their flavour in the cold.
• If not yet ripe, store in a paper bag with the stem down for a few days.
• Red juicy ripe tomatoes will keep for several days on the counter.


How to prepare

• For burgers or sandwiches, slice a large beefsteak tomato. Oblong plum tomatoes are delicious on pizza or diced in an uncooked pasta sauce with olive oil. Explode-in-your-mouth cherry tomatoes are best eaten raw or sauteed. For frying, try tart green tomatoes, which never ripen and have their own unique culinary appeal. Fried green tomatoes are particularly popular in the Southern U.S.
• If the recipe calls for peeled tomatoes pour boiling water over them and let them sit for half a minute, then plunge tomatoes into very cold water. Make a small cut through the skin and the whole peel will come off easily.
• To deseed, cut in wedges and squeeze out the seeds over a bowl. This is often necessary when making sauces.


Nutritional info:


1 tomato:
26 calories, 1 g protein, 6 g carbohydrates, 0.6 mg iron, 6 mg calcium, 273 mg potassium, 23 mg vitamin C, 1.5 g dietary fibre

Recipes

• Fresh herb tomato sauce
• Crazy tomato toss
• Fried green tomatoes
• Chunky sunrise salsa
• Broccoli and cheese tortellini in a creamy tomato sauce
• Chèvre and sun-dried tomato chicken
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