All About Tomatoes
By: Chef Cindy McClure, Classical Cooking with Tutto Sorrisi
Tomatoes – The Fruit Vegetable Plant
The tomato is the edible berry of the plant Solanum lycopersicum, commonly known as a tomato plant. However; nutritionists consider them a vegetable. It’s their high levels of the antioxidant lycopene, a natural pigment that gives them their red color.
Tomatoes first arrived in Europe via the New World. Initially people were very skeptic and prejudice towards the use of the tomato; some even believed that they were poisonous because of their bright red color. It wasn’t until sometime in the 19th century that the tomato become a staple as a sauce and as an additive to other sauces.
Believe it or not you can eat too many tomatoes. A recent Harvard study found that men and women who ate ten or more servings per week had a 1/3 risk of developing breast and prostate cancers.
Directions on How Freeze Tomatoes
- Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil.
- With a sharp knife place a “X” on the bottom of the tomato. I prefer to cut/core the stem.
- Drop tomato into boiling water for 30-60 seconds (depending on the age and ripeness)
- Remove with a slotted spoon, skimmer or spider. Immediately plunge into very cold water.
- Pull away the skin
- Halve each tomato crosswise at its widest point and gently squeeze out the seeds. The seeds can be bitter but some prefer to puree in entirety.
- Drop tomatoes into food processor with a touch of salt, fresh basil and/or fresh oregano.
- Place puree into labeled one-gallon freezer bags and place on a half sheet pan
- Store in freezer until ready to use.