Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!

Tomatoes, the uglier the better.
When I say killer tomatoes, I mean tomatoes good enough to kill for.

Next to iceberg lettuce, no other produce item has suffered as many grave insults to good taste as the humble tomato.

Assumed to be poisonous as a member of the Night Shade family, many decades passed by while most of Europe eschewed the fruit.

Thankfully, we live in enlightened time - as long as we ourselves eschew that tasteless pulpy cardboard flavored supermarket tomato.

A couple of tips:

  • Never, ever, EVER refrigerate raw tomato. An enzyme within the fruit converts the sugars to starch as soon as the temperature hits about 53ºF.
  • Since you can't refrigerate, the clock is ticking. Use them raw within a day or two or cook and freeze (we plan on canning this year).
  • Cherry tomatoes are a great snack during the day and are great for the kids.
  • Sharpen your knives. If your knives are a little lack luster, try slicing the tomatoes with a bread knife.

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Get in me!
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The noble tomato needs no adornment at all, although I like to salt mine to draw out the umami characteristics.

One of our favorites at Chowbacca! is the Mexicaprese Salad, a California riff on an Italian classic. This is the tomato's home, after all.

Mexicaprese Salad:
  • Two or three medium tomatoes, I like to pick contrasting colors.
  • half of a large globe of fresh mozzarella, sliced or torn into small pieces or two or three boccancinis torn in half.
  • Half an avocado, sliced lengthwise.
  • Salt, pepper and olive oil to taste.
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