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 and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant?
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!
Try this recipe!
Greek Green Beans and Tomato
Contributed by Anne-Carter Carrington, FNP District Coordinator, Central District Office~Virginia Cooperative Extension
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
For those of you who are avid gardeners, tomatoes can be canned or frozen. Tomatoes can be safely water-bath canned, but additional acid needs to be added to keep them safe. Recipes for canning tomatoes will give you the recommended amounts to add. Tomatoes also can be canned with a pressure canner. If you do not have a canner, try freezing your tomatoes. First blanch them to remove skins and blemishes, lay them out on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer. Once they are frozen, pack them in freezer bags, label and date the bags, and store them in your freezer. Recipes are available on the USDA canning website (see below). 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!
For canning recipes, go to: