You already know I am thoroughly enjoying the heirloom tomatoes that are bursting out of their baskets at my favorite Whole Foods store and farmers markets everywhere. And tomatoes are on the list of “Super Foods” as they are very high in lycopene, which is good for you! And although most people think that the red tomatoes are the healthiest due to their rich color, it turns out that orange tomatoes are just as healthful. The best way to eat tomatoes is to slice or chop them up, as that helps release the lycopene. Also, eat them with a bit of fat (like a salad with basil, mozzarella and balsamic vinegar--yum!) because lycopene is better absorbed with a tad of fat. And of course cooking tomatoes into a delicious sauce or soup is probably the best way to get that lycopene into your body. Plus, a tomato a day helps fulfill the 5 recommended fruits and veggies a day we’re all supposed to eat. Salad anyone?
Having attending the Grainger County (Tennessee) Tomato fest twice, as well as having been a dining critic for several upscale magazines, I can tell you that multi-colored heirloom tomatoes are all the rage with the hot chefs. There are yellow, green, zebra striped and even pink and purple tomatoes, such as Purple Cherokee! I have taken a pocket knife at fairs, to see if it were all packaging, or if the tomatoes tasted different. They really do! Some are more "vegetable-like", reminding me of white asparagus. Some are sweet like an unripe peach. Try dicing them up to be a great salsa to garnish any entree. Add some olive oil, crushed garlic, sea salt, diced onion, black pepper and cilantro.