Tomato Season is Upon Us!

Tomato season is upon us! So many of us love a fresh sliced tomato on our sandwich or a diced tomato placed on top of a crisp salad. There are approximately 7,500 tomato varieties grown around the world for various purposes.  It wasn’t until the 1900s that the tomato gained some measure of popularity in the United States. Today this fruit is one of America’s favorite “vegetables,” a classification the government gave the tomato for trade purposes in 1893. Botanically tomatoes are fruit, however, the tomato’s nutrient content is more similar to a vegetable than a fruit as it contains less calories and less sugars than other fruits. About a half cup of tomatoes has 15% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin A and 20% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C.

Whether raw in salads, sliced on sandwiches or simmered in sauces, tomatoes complement most cuisines and can be prepared with a variety of methods including roasting, grilling, and stewing. Want to try a unique and refreshing way to enjoy tomatoes? Try the recipe below for a fun summer soup!

Watermelon-Tomato Gazpacho

Watermelon-Tomato Gazpacho

Recipe by Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN
Adapted from Food & Wine Magazine

Watermelon-Tomato Gazpacho

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds plum or beefsteak tomatoes, cored
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped English cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped seedless watermelon
  • 1 cup diced seedless watermelon
  • 1 cup diced English cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup minced chives, for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spread the cored tomatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, until tomato skins are loosened and tomatoes are soft. Remove from oven and let cool. Peel the tomatoes and cut them in half.
  2. Working over a coarse strainer set over a large bowl, squeeze the tomato halves to release the seeds and juices. You should have about 2 cups of tomato juice in the bowl.
  3. Coarsely chop 4cups of the tomato flesh. There will be leftover tomatoes — dice them into ½-inch pieces.
  4. In a food processor or blender, puree the coarsely chopped tomatoes with the reserved tomato juice and the 1 cup each of coarsely chopped watermelon and cucumber until the soup is smooth.
  5. Transfer the soup to a large bowl. Stir in the remaining diced tomato, diced watermelon, diced cucumber, sherry vinegar, 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour. Can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
  6. In a small bowl mix scallions, jalapeños, cilantro and remaining lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. When soup is fully chilled, ladle into shot glasses, tumblers or bowls. Drizzle each serving with some of the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, the scallion-cilantro relish and a sprinkle of chives, if using. Serves 6 to 8.

 

 

References:

https://foodandnutrition.org/july-august-2017/from-the-vine-treasure-the-many-types-of-tomatoes/. Accessed 5/24/18.

http://extension.missouri.edu/adair/tomatotypes.aspx. Accessed 5/24/18.

https://www.foodnetwork.com/terms/tomato. Accessed 5/24/18.

https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/factsheets/HHFS_TOMATOES_FRESH_Oct2012.pdf. Accessed 5/24/18.

https://foodandnutrition.org/blogs/stone-soup/watermelon-tomato-gazpacho/. Accessed 5/24/18.

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