Tar Heel Kitchen: Flavorful Tomatoes

by | Aug 4, 2016

French Tomatoes - FB

Since 1926, the Agricultural Review has been a free newspaper published by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. For many years, The Tar Heel Kitchen was a featured column written by the department’s marketing home economist. These recipes tended to be seasonal with just a handful of ingredients. We thought these recipes needed to be shared in a new format. The Tar Heel Kitchen post will unearth a few of these timeless recipes each month. This week we are revisiting the August 15, 1987, issue and a recipe for vine-ripened tomatoes. 

“During August, vine ripened tomatoes can be found just about every where in the South,” said Barbara “Babs Wilkinson, former NCDA&CS home economist, “in the backyard gardens, on patio trellises and in commercial fields. For all of us who are tomato lovers, this means treating ourselves to an abundance of fresh summer sweet tomatoes.”

Wilkinson suggest choosing tomatoes look for firm, plump smooth tomatoes with good color and no blemishes. Store ripe tomatoes in a cool area, and keep unripe tomatoes at room temperature away from direct sunlight.

Below is a unique recipe that can be served as a side dish or on as a topping for fresh-from-the-grill burgers.

Tar-Heel-Kitchen-largeFlavorful Tomatoes

  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 Spanish onion, sliced and separated into rings
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon dillweed
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • ¼ cup French dressing

Slice tomatoes into ½-inch slices. Arrange tomato slices and onion rings in a shallow dish; sprinkle with sugar and seasonings; pour French dressing over tomatoes. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Yield 4 to 6 servings.