It’s Tomato Season!

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We’re right in the middle of summer and many of us have been hard at work harvesting the fruits of our “garden” labor. To me, there’s nothing better than a homegrown tomato. I love heirlooms that have a nice balance of smoky sweetness….nothing better sliced on white bread with mayonnaise. Yum! Another thing I love about summer tomatoes is their versatility. You can eat them raw, sliced on a sandwich or salad, chopped for fresh pico or can them to use in soups, stews, or sauces in the winter. And they are rich in nutrition providing vitamin C, potassium, and lycopene. Lycopene is the pigment that gives tomatoes and other red and pink fruits and vegetables their color. It is also an antioxidant and has been shown to be beneficial in heart health and fighting cancer.

I’ve included a simple recipe for fresh pico de gallo, a family favorite. Many recipes for pico call for Roma tomatoes but really, any tomato will work. You may have a few other ingredients growing in your garden such as jalapeño peppers and cilantro.

Ingredients

• 2 cups diced tomato, 3 to 4 small tomatoes

• 3/4 cup diced white onion

• 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

• 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

• 2 garlic cloves, minced

• 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed and diced

• 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste

Instructions

1. In a small bowl, combine the tomato, onion, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, jalapeño, and salt. Stir to combine. Chill until ready to use.

2. Serve with chips, for dipping, or as a condiment with your favorite Mexican dish.Pico