Tomatoes, whether small or large have always been a staple in my family’s kitchen eversince I could remember. Growing up in a very Mexican household the tomato was essential for some of the most basic dishes. Grape tomatoes for a quick and healthy salad, red ripe tomatoes in a zesty salsa and thick, hearty slices of an “ugly” tomato in your favorite torta or sandwich. In today’s blog post I am going to feature three easy recipes, each one prepared with fresh Florida tomatoes. And not just to feature the tomatoes, but to also share recipes that are healthy and delicious.
“For generations, Florida tomatoes have been grown, hand picked and cared for on family run farms,” says Samantha Daves, Director of Education and Promotion for the Florida Tomato Committee. The Florida family of tomato growers are committed to healthful and sustainable farming practices that result in the most red, ripe, nutritious and delicious tomatoes available. Click onto the link to view a fun series of videos that educate the public about how Florida tomatoes are grown and what makes them so nutritious, delicious and different from the rest.
Grape Tomato Salad with Shrimp in a Cumin Lime Vinaigrette
Tips~ Preparing a quick and homemade dressing or vinaigrette is a s easy as a few fresh ingredients combined with spices and extra virgin olive oil.
For Cumin Lime Vinaigrette
1/8 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 serrano pepper, sliced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon agave nectar or honey
1/3 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt to taste
12 large shrimp, peeled and cleaned
pepper cayenne pepper
10 oz grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
1 cup cucumber, seeded and sliced
3 small sweet peppers, sliced
4 radishes, sliced thin
1. In a blender, add all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette and blend until smooth. Taste for salt, set aside.
2. Season the cleaned shrimp lightly with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper on both sides, set aside. Preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for 5 minutes. Cook shrimp for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from heat onto plate.
3. Toss all of the vegetables in a serving bowl with vinaigrette. At this point I like to lightly re-season with a little more fresh cracked pepper and salt. Fold in the shrimp. Garnish with avocado slices. Yields 2-4 servings.
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Queso Fresco en Salsa~ Farmer Style Cheese in a Tomato Salsa
Tips~ Queso Fresco is naturally lighter than most cheese varieties. Serve as an appetizer with baked corn tortilla chips.
For Tomato Salsa
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 to 2 serrano peppers, sliced
salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
You Will Also Need
1/3 red onion, sliced thin
6 to 8 oz queso fresco, sliced into cubes
1/3 cup diced avocado
1 pickled jalapeño, diced
1. To the blender, add the tomatoes, serrano peppers, salt, pepper, oregano and about 1/3 cup of water. Blend on high until smooth and set aside.
2. Preheat 2 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat for a few minutes. Add the onions and saute for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato salsa from the blender. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until salsa becomes thick and darker in color.
3. Add the queso fresco and cook for just another minute to warm the cheese. Garnish with avocado and pickled jalapeños. Serve with corn tortillas chips or mexican bolillos, sliced.
Tomato Avocado Torta (Sandwich)
1 cup black beans
1 cloves garlic
1 chipotle in adobo
1/2 cup chicken broth
salt to taste
You will also need
4 crusty rolls or bolillos
1 avocado sliced
2 “ugly” big tomatoes, sliced
1 to 2 pickled jalapeños, seeded and sliced into strips
small handful of chopped cilantro and some thin sliced onion
1. To the blender, add the beans, garlic, chipotle, chicken broth and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth, set aside.
2. Preheat 1 tablespoon of olive oil to medium heat for a minute. Add the beans from the blender. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook for another 5 minutes. If the beans are too thick, add a little more chicken broth. Remove from heat.
3. Toast the bread. On the bottom of each roll, add beans, avocado slices, 2 tomato slices, pickled jalapeños, onion and cilantro. Add a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Add top of roll, serve right away. Yields 4 servings.