Tomatoes

When it comes to tomatoes, it's a common misconception that fresh are best. For a short while at the end of summer and start of fall, this is true. But the rest of the time you'll do better with a box of Pomi or a can of Redpac than with whatever you'll find in the produce bin. This should come as a relief, because it's easier to crack a can of prepared tomatoes than to peel, seed and chop a few pounds of your own.

WHEN TO BUY
Late summer/early fall

NUTRITION FACTS
Amount in 1 Serving: 1 medium tomato
Calories: 35
Fiber: 1 gram
Fat: 1 gram
Protein: .5 gram
A good source of: vitamin C, vitamin A

HOW TO CHOOSE
A tomato is good if:

  • Its color is vibrant deep orange
  • It gives slightly when you squeeze it
  • It has a faint, sweet aroma

HOW TO STORE

  • Place unripe tomatoes in a brown paper bag until they're deep red. Don't refrigerate them; the cold keeps them from ripening and makes them mealy.
  • Keep ripe tomatoes at room temperature for up to two days.
  • Put very ripe tomatoes (those that seems about to turn into sauce all by themselves) refrigerated in a perforated plastic bag for up to two days

HOW TO PREPARE
For sauces, stews and other cooked dishes calling for peeled tomatoes:

  1. With a sharp paring knife, make two slits in the skin at the top of the tomato.
  2. Bring water to boil in a saucepan. Add the tomatoes 3 to 4 at a time, and boil for 30 seconds.
  3. Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon. When cool enough to handle, slip off the skin. Slice, scoop out and discard as many seeds as possible.
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