Time for Kentucky tomatoes

Published 9:00 am Thursday, August 10, 2017

By Jennifer Howard

I think you’ll agree, nothing tastes better than a homegrown tomato.

Many of our vendors at the Winchester-Clark County Farmers’ Market had red ripe tomatoes Saturday.

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Did you know tomatoes are rich in nutrients that promote good health, including fiber and vitamins C and A? A medium tomato contains about 25 calories, 20 mg sodium, and is a good source of potassium.

In selecting tomatoes, choose firm, well-shaped tomatoes that are fragrant and rich in color. Tomatoes should be free from blemishes, heavy for their size and give slightly to pressure.

Three to four medium tomatoes weigh about one pound. One pound of tomatoes yields about 2-1/2 cups of chopped tomatoes.

Tomatoes should be stored at room temperature and used within three days. Keep out of direct sunlight. Place green tomatoes in a paper bag to ripen.

An easy way to peel tomatoes is by dipping them in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then transfer to cold water. The skins will slip right off.

Try today’s recipe.

Tomato Basil Salad

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

1 pint cherry, grape or other salad tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)

1 large cucumber, chopped

3 green onions, chopped

1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced

3 tablespoons crumbled, fat free feta cheese

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons white balsamic or white vinegar

Roll basil leaves lengthwise and cut across into 1/4-inch strips. Combine basil, tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, bell pepper and cheese in large bowl. Whisk olive oil with vinegar. Drizzle over salad ingredients and lightly toss to cover. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Yield: 4, 1 cup servings. Nutritional analysis: 150 calories, 10 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 200 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 5 g sugars, 3 g protein.

For more information on Kentucky fruits and vegetables, contact the Clark County Extension Office at 744-4682. Be sure to visit our web site at http://ces.ca.uky.edu/clark/ and follow the Plate it Up link for more recipes.

Jennifer Howard is the Clark County Extension Agent for family and consumer sciences.