In celebration of National Farmers Market Week we’ve worked with NCDA&CS Marketing Division’s dietician, Freda Butner, to bring you healthy and delicious seasonal recipes that use plenty of ingredients bountiful at farmers markets across the state. Check out her blog below for a savory take on tomatoes and herbs.
Like –the song lyrics read;
“What’d life be without homegrown tomatoes
Only two things that money can’t buy
That’s true love & homegrown tomatoes!“
And wasn’t the Love Bug named Herbie? Ahh, herbs and tomatoes do go together!
Seriously, there must be a gazillion recipes that incorporate fresh tomatoes. The farmers market probably has more tomatoes than any other fruit or vegetable displayed from spring to fall. They all contain vitamin C, lycopene, and vitamin A. Want to boost up the nutrition even higher. Smell your way to the fresh herbs and select a variety of lush, delicate, aromatic spices. Vendors will be happy to suggest ideas.
Herbs have a significant amount of potassium, vitamin B 6, and vitamin A. The nutrients in tomatoes and herbs act as antioxidants that will boost your immune system and help your skin, eyesight, circulatory system, connective tissue, and thyroid health. One can find in-depth nutrition of all foods at this user-friendly database; https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/index.html
Four hints for herb and tomato dishes: 1) you don’t need to measure precisely, 2) you can choose any combinations of both and end up with a delightful outcome every time, 3) roasted tomatoes caramelize to a natural sweetness, and 4) it’s not necessary to take the seeds out of tomatoes if the recipe calls for that. That step is really just for looks. You get a twofer in today’s recipe because both are so easy and involve duplicate ingredients for simplistic shopping at the market.
And one more thing – Mr. David Smith, our esteemed Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture, once said, “You can never have too much garlic!” What’s not to love about that?
Fresh Herb Tomato Dressing (Can be easily doubled)
- 1 medium tomato, seeded (optional) and chopped
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. chopped onion
- 2 Tbps. chopped fresh parsley
- 1 small clove of garlic
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh basil
- ¼ salt
- ¼ paprika
- 4 drops hot sauce
- 1 Tbps. Parmesan cheese
- Combine all ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth.
- Cover and chill to blend flavors. Shake well to serve.
Roasted Tomatoes with Herbs
(Use them now, add to other recipes, place them on crusty French bread, put into an omelet, or store them in a jar or other container in the freezer for later.)
- 6-8 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (or 12 regular-sized chopped into chunks)
- ¼ cup olive oil (or just enough to cover the amount )
- 1-2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- Herbs – fresh chopped to taste (basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley, etc.)
- Salt to taste
- Heat oven to 350° F
- Mix all ingredients together in a glass baking dish
- Roast for 40 minutes to start, stirring about every 20 minutes to keep the browning even
- If the consistency is still juicy, continue roasting until most of the water is gone