Tomatoes are rich in so many good things, including vitamin C, lycopene and assorted carotenes, that eating them every day is a good idea - especially now, while local, ripe tomatoes are at their peak. Here are ideas for serving tomatoes in a variety of ways. Delicious now, they will be even more welcome when out-of-season tomatoes need a flavor boost.
With their thick, sweet flesh, round cherry and oval grape tomatoes can be a better choice than the regular kind because even if bought at the supermarket, they taste good year round. They're great for adding color to a green salad, but they also do well on their own. Halve these miniatures, then toss them with a light dressing of lemon juice, rice wine vinegar and a few drops of olive oil. This dressing makes it possible to serve them as a salad, heaped on a bed of lettuce that gets bathed with their tangy juices and the dressing.
Fresh salsa is another treat. Think of adding diced mango, jicama, cucumber, or other produce when making a salsa. A freshly made salsa richly textured with many ingredients can be so irresistible that your family members will each eat a whole cup, providing a healthy two servings of the minimum recommended "five-a-day" for fruits and vegetables.
Remember that juice counts, too, toward those recommended servings. Try this refreshing savory, salsa-flavored smoothie.
Makes 1 serving.
- 1 small tomato, quartered
- 3/4 cup tomato juice cocktail, chilled
- 2 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 small garlic clove, chopped
- 1/4 jalapeno pepper (or to taste), chopped
- 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
- Juice of 1/2 fresh lime (about 1 Tbsp.)
- Small wedge of fresh lime and a cherry tomato for garnish (optional)
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- Freeze tomato in a plastic bag until hard, about 3 to 4 hours. (They will keep up to one week. Several tomatoes may be frozen at a time.)
- Place frozen tomato, juice, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, cumin and lime juice in a blender. Puree until well blended and almost smooth.
- Pour into a tall tumbler filled with ice cubes. Garnish, if desired, with a small wedge of lime and a cherry tomato, speared on a short skewer and added to the glass like a swizzle stick.
- Serve immediately.
(Recipe can be multiplied to make more servings, but you may want to cut down on garlic and jalpeno if you do.)
0 g. total fat (0 g. saturated fat),
14 g. carbohydrate,
2 g. protein,
2 g. dietary fiber, 444 mg. sodium.