Summer is the season for tomatoes! In the Shenandoah Valley, tomatoes will be abundant by the end of June, early July. Are you ready for a delicious fruit that is a wonderful source of vitamins A and C?
Here are some easy ways to use tomatoes:
- Slice and dice to add to salads or your favorite sandwich.
- Tomato sandwiches are easy to make. Place sliced tomatoes on toasted bread. Add lettuce and low fat mayonnaise. To make a fast BLT, add turkey bacon.
- Stuffed tomatoes are a crowd pleaser and also make a delicious lunch. Cut off the top of the tomato, scoop out the inside, and add cottage cheese, chicken or tuna salad.
- Add to nachos, burritos, pizza, chili, and vegetable soup.
- Sautee zucchini, garlic, mushrooms, and diced tomatoes. Add pepper and oregano. Serve with grated cheese.
- Homemade salsa is wonderful!
For those of you who are avid gardeners, tomatoes can be canned or frozen. Tomatoes can be safely water-bath canned because of their high acidity, but additional acid needs to be added to keep them safe. It is recommended that lemon juice or citric acid be added. Recipes for canning tomatoes will give you the recommended amounts to add.
Tomatoes can be easily frozen after blanching to remove skins and blemishes. Again, follow the guidelines in your recipe. Frozen tomatoes can be used in cooking during the winter.
Your local Family Consumer Science Agent from Virginia Cooperative Extension is your resource for canning and freezing summer vegetables. Contact the nearest agent near you!
Greek Green Beans and Tomato
(Contributed by Anne-Carter Carrington, FNP District Coordinator, Central District Office)
2 pounds fresh green beans
2 cups tomatoes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 green pepper
1 bunch fresh parsley
2 garlic cloves
2 cups water
Fresh ground pepper
Wash beans, cut off tips and remove stringy piece of fiber along the seam. Rinse beans. Chop tomatoes, onions, parsley, and garlic. Thinly slice green pepper. In a soup pot, sauté onions in olive oil until translucent. Stir in the garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Add all remaining ingredients and water. Stir well, reduce heat, and simmer covered for 50 minutes or until beans are tender. Add more water if needed during cooking. Serve warm.
For a more substantial dish, add 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks.
Makes 4 servings as a main dish or 6-8 servings as a side.
6 g Protein
3 g Fat
27 g Carbohydrates
10 g Fiber
35 mg Sodium
Source: Virginia Cooperative Extension