Source: Web exclusive, September 2010
How to store tomatoes
Store tomatoes on the counter instead of in the fridge’keeping tomatoes at room temperature is the best way to preserve their delicious texture. Also, tomatoes will ripen quicker when stored in sunlight or in a paper bag.
Fresh Tomato Pasta Topper
Instead of the usual thick tomato sauce, top cheese ravioli with slices of tomatoes, preferably a mix of colourful heirloom varieties. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and top with basil leaves, thin red onion slices, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Roasted Tomato and Jalapeno Salsa
Roasting the ingredients gives the salsa an added boost of flavour. Roast sweet peppers, tomatoes and jalapeno peppers until tender. Loosely cover peppers with foil. Cool completely. Peel peppers and remove and discard seeds. Coarsely chop sweet peppers, jalapenos and tomatoes. Place in a bowl, lightly coat with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. (Mixture will be very saucy.) Stir in fresh chopped cilantro to taste. Serve with tortilla chips or crusty bread for dipping.
Tomato and Pancetta Stacks
This impressive appetizer is a snap to put together. Build a coulourful stack by layering thick slices of tomatoes with rounds of crisp pancetta and slices of buffalo mozzarella. Drizzle with pesto and serve.
Balsamic Blue Cheese Steak
Simmer balsamic vinegar with a pinch of sugar in a small pot until it reduces by half. Set aside to cool slightly. Grill or fry your favourite steak. Loosely cover, then let stand 10 minutes before serving. When steak is ready, drizzle with a little of the balsamic reduction. Top with sliced cherry, grape or teardrop tomatoes and crumbled blue cheese such as, Bleu Benedcitin or Ciel de Charlevoix.
Braised Tomato Brekkie
Create a delicious breakfast with ingredients you probably have on hand. Sauté sliced onion and peppers in a large frying pan until softened. Add tomato wedges. Continue cooking until softened. Bring to a gentle simmer. Crack eggs overtop. Cover and cook until eggs are done as you like. Serve over tortilla topped with shredded cheddar or mozzarella.
Stuffed Mediterranean-Inspired Tomatoes
Create a succulent vegetarian main course with juicy in-season plum tomatoes. Stir cooked couscous or rice with chopped olives, artichokes, feta cheese and chopped parsley and mint. Seed and hollow out plum tomatoes. Stuff couscous mixture into tomatoes. Bake until tomatoes are tender and filling is warm. Drizzle with your favourite balsamic vinaigrette.
Fresh Tomato Salad
To create a delicious salad, mix cherry or grape tomatoes with blanched green beans, chopped sweet peppers and broccoli florets. To make a simple tangy vinaigrette, whisk pesto with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Drizzle over salad and toss to coat.
Grilled Tomato & Chevre Pizza
Grill large pieces of naan bread, turning occasionally until grill marks form on both sides. Top with slices of tomatoes, preferably a mix of large yellow, orange, green and red. Drizzle with olive oil and crumble goat cheese over top. Sprinkle with snipped chives, salt and pepper. Slice into pieces and serve warm or at room temperature.
Easiest-Ever Tomato Side Dish
Roast cherry tomatoes on the vine for dramatic presentation on your dinner plate. Simply set cherry tomatoes (with vine-attached) on a foil-lined baking sheet. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in centre of oven at 400ºF (200ºC) until slightly tender. Serve warm alongside roasted chicken or fish.
Vegetarian B.L.T Sandwich
Instead of using bacon, fry thick slices of extra-firm tofu in a little soya sauce until lightly golden. Sandwich warm tofu, tomato slices, pea shoots or sprouts and tender Bibb lettuce or baby spinach leaves between thick slices of toasted whole grain bread (spread with light mayo, if you like).
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