Totally Tomatoes

Published July 9th, 2019

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market has some of the finest tomatoes around. Most of our tomatoes are vine-ripened, which means they have been harvested just before they reach full maturity. Tomatoes continue to ripen after picking—by the time they reach your table, they are at peak perfection.

While all Fresh Thyme tomatoes are delicious, some are best to eat raw; others are better grilled, stewed, or dehydrated. From beefsteak to heirloom, roma to cherry, Fresh Thyme has a tomato for every dish you want to make.

Totally Tomatoes

A. Beefsteak
King of tomatoes, some beefsteaks weigh a pound or more. (The record is 8½ pounds, set in 2016.) These large tomatoes are meaty and bursting with juice. Flavor tends to be mild; they go well with just about everything and are ideal to top burgers or BLTs. The mild taste also works nicely for salsas to complement peppers and herbs. Because of high water content, they don’t hold up well for cooking—unless you’re prepared to cook a long time to reach the desired consistency.

B. Campari
A bit larger than romas, campari tomatoes are often sold with stems attached. The strong, traditional tomato flavor is fruity and ideal for cooking. Toss on the grill, stuff with savory fillings and bake, or simmer to create a traditional marinara sauce.

C. Cherry
Small and round, cherry tomatoes are thin-skinned and very sweet, with such high water content that they often squirt when bitten into! For an easy appetizer, slice in half and skewer with bocconcini (small mozzarella balls) and basil. To cook, simmer lightly and quickly with a few fresh ingredients for a simple pomodoro sauce (Italian for tomato!).

D. Grape
Similar to cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes are smaller, with thicker skin and meatier texture. They hold their shape well when cooked. Flavor is mildly sweet to tangy and intensely tomato. Roast them and toss with pasta, or add to veggies for colorful side dishes. Delightful to snack on raw, too!

E. Heirloom
These fruits must be bred by open-air pollination and not GMO-modified. They vary in color, size, and shape and are extremely flavorful. Heirlooms shine in simple fresh salads. Or drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

F. Roma or Plum
Full of intense tangy flavor, Italian romas have thin skins, meaty flesh, few seeds, and relatively low water content. A little smaller than a tennis ball and oblong, they’re ideal for home cooking and preserving, such as pastes and sauces. Roast them for 20 to 30 minutes to intensify flavor before serving on bruschetta.

 

Tips for storing your bounty!

  • If the stem is attached, store tomatoes upright. If no longer attached, store the fruit upside down.
  • Store at room temperature, not in the fridge; temps below 50°F turn tomatoes mushy and mealy.
  • To ripen, store in a paper bag to capture ethylene gas that tomatoes give off. Add a banana to speed ripening.

 

All these tomato varieties are seasonal. Visit your local Fresh Thyme for see the new crops for the week!

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