Tomatoes have been on my mind lately. Maybe it’s because I’ve been watering and nurturing my tomato plant over the last few weeks and just picked the first ripe tomatoes from it today and it’s still full of little green ones getting ready to do their thing over the next few weeks.
These first tomatoes of the season look so perfect that I hate to eat them, but Charlie & I are going to enjoy them tonight with some fresh sliced cucumber and a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Or I could have tomatoes on the brain because I’m thinking about running in the East Nashville Tomato 5k again in August. I ran it 2 years ago with my best friend since middle school, Sharon. It was my first 5k and although I didn’t come in at the front of the pack, I wasn’t last either. Somewhere smack dab in the middle, I crossed the finish line and it was a great sense of accomplishment!
It could also be because I’ve been cooking with a lot of Red Gold tomatoes lately. Last year the OPN crew traveled to the home of Red Gold in Elwood, IN and cooked with co-owner Selita Riechart. She showed me how to make a delicious Chicken Parmesan Lasagna without boiling the noodles first, which is a great technique that I’m working on adapting to my mother-in-law’s lasagna recipe. If you haven’t seen it, you can check it out here: http://onepannan.com/chicken-parmesan-lasagna-with-red-gold-tomatoes-selita-reichart/ It’s a delicious recipe and when you don’t have to pre cook the noodles, that makes for one less step and one less pot to wash!
Or maybe it’s just that summertime is in full swing right now and salads seem so much more appetizing these days. Of course you’ve got to have tomatoes on a salad if you ask me. They not only plump up the flavor of regular green salad, spinach salad or pasta salad, but they also plump up the nutritional value. Here’s a recipe for a BLT pasta salad that makes a complete meal and is loaded with grape tomatoes: http://onepannan.com/picnic-perfect-blt-pasta-salad/
No matter what, tomatoes bring a lot to the table…in many types of food, too. So whether you’re using tomatoes as a base, a sauce, in a salad or just simply enjoying them right off the vine with a little salt and pepper, they offer wonderful flavor, unique texture, brilliant color and they’re loaded with antioxidants and vitamins. So I say bring on the tomatoes, the more the better! Have a great summer and eat healthy!