Get Them While They Are Fresh!
With only a month or two left of homegrown tomato and cucumber season, I thought it would be a perfect time to share my cucumber and vine tomato salad!
The Colorful World Of Tomatoes
Did you know that there are hundreds of varieties of tomatoes available for the home gardener? Tomatoes have transformed from the ever traditional red tomato to now the high end “white wonder” tomato with a creamy white flesh and skin or a “Yellow Stuffer” with a lemon yellow flesh. I prefer to cook with tomatoes on the vine. You can find them at Giant Eagle and other local stores. These tomatoes tend to have a better flavor profile.
Healthy Facts About Tomatoes
- Tomatoes contain carotene lycopene, one of the most powerful, natural antioxidants.
- Lycopene has been shown to improve skin’s ability to protect against harmful UV rays.
- Different tomato varieties may contain more than double the normal vitamin C and 40 times normal vitamin A
The Watery World Of Cucumbers
Contrary to popular belief, this member of the gourd family is actually classified as a fruit. Made up of more than 90% water, this fruit is typically classified into three different categories; slicing, pickling and burpless. When cooking, you should normally use slicing cucumbers.
Healthy Facts About Cucumbers
- A ½ cup of freshly sliced cucumbers contains only 8 calories!
- Cucumbers have a high amount of Vitamin K, which is thought to support bone strength
- Cucumbers contain unique anti-oxidants which help to prevent aging. This is why in most spas they suggest to put over your eyes
My Summer Recipe
The recipe I have created below combines these two powerful fruits into one tasty Summer salad!
|Locally Grown Cucumber & Vine Ripened Tomato Salad|
|Cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced||2||cups|
|Vine Ripened Tomato, cored and wedged||2||cups|
|Red Onion, julienne||1/2.||cup|
|Rice Wine Vinegar||1/4.||cup|
|Crushed Red Pepper Flakes||1/2.||tsp|
|1. Combine all vinaigrette ingredients until the salt and sugar are dissolved.|
|2. Lightly toss cucumber, tomato and onion in the vinaigrette and serve immediately.|