Chef Kelly Unger
Just like tomatillos and ground cherries from last week, tomatoes are in the Nightshade botanical family. We all love our vine ripened Summer tomatoes! And now we are swimming in them. California's drought is so bad that the cost of their tomatoes has skyrocketed. This will also affect the price of canned tomatoes for us in the Winter! So get a jump start and can or jar your own sauce now! Our farmers will be grateful for the sales.
Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which protects 4 of the 5 body defense systems - angiogenesis, microbiome, DNA health, and the immune system. Lycopene is fat soluable so heat tomatoes with olive oil to get that full benefit. Lycopene also helps combats too much body fat, helps speed metabolism, and prevents DNA damage from the sun. Watermelons are also rich in lycopene.
Gazpacho is an easy way to make use of tomatoes. Gazpacho, the cold tomato soup, is from the Andalucia region of Spain (forms southern end of Spain, touches the Atlantic and Mediterranean). Just put 3 large chopped tomatoes (skins and seeds), a seeded, chopped cucumber, one large red pepper, and 2-4 garlic cloves, and 2 slices of bread soaked in a little water in a blender and puree until smooth. Add about 1/2 cup of our Mediterranean Delicacy olive oil and a little water to thin the consistency, salt and pepper to taste and blend to mix. Voila! Gaspacho! Place the soup in the refrigerator to completely chill and serve very cold. Garnish the soup with your choice of finely chopped onion, chopped hard boiled egg, toasted bread cubes, finely diced tomatoes, or all of the above! Perfect for a hot summer day! Enjoy!