Tomato Season is Here
By Chef Richard Williams
Culinary Bits is a monthly spotlight featuring tips from our own FVTC Chef Instructors. For August, Chef Richard Williams provides tips on the popular love apple, or as most of us know it, the tomato.
It’s that time of year when gardening is on the minds of many people in Wisconsin. One of the most popular vegetables to grow is the tomato. Very few vegetables are as versatile or have the culinary impact of the tomato. Considered a super food, tomatoes are packed full of lycopene, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. There are endless varieties of this fruit vegetable, once known as the love apple.
Processed tomatoes offer a variety of texture and flavor profile options including: diced in juice, sauce, in paste form, and dried. You can reduce the salt in some recipes by incorporating sun-dried tomatoes while also capturing their color and flavor.
The fresh produce season in our area can be short and purchasing flavorful tomatoes can be a challenge. I’ve been oven-roasting Roma tomatoes for years with great results. To do this, slice the tomatoes in half end-to-end. Place the tomato halves in a bowl, add minced garlic, olive oil, dry oregano, dry thyme, salt and pepper. Place an oven rack on a sheet pan, spray well with non-stick spray, and place the Romas on the rack cut-side down. Roast on the lowest rack in your oven at 200 degrees for 3-4 hours or to your desired doneness. The oven-roasted Romas can be used anywhere a recipe calls for tomato.
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