Tasty Tomatoes

Happy Friday! Another week of summer has passed and that means we are one week closer to back to school. Hopefully you can soak up these last few weeks of summer and have a fun time before getting back to the school schedule! 

We have already started preparing the garden for the upcoming school year. Newly planted turnips, rutabaga, bok choy, carrots, and radishes are just starting to come up. We also will be planting more lettuce and spinach for the fall soon. The three sisters garden should be ready for the students, too. The corn is growing tall and the pumpkins are starting to get their orange color! Additionally, one more week into August means that our tomatoes are maturing. Below you can see some sun sugar yellow, candyland red, black opal, and lime green salad tomatoes that are ready for harvest. We also have Roma, sun sugar red, Brandywine, and beefsteak tomatoes that will be ready in the next couple of weeks! 

Tomatoes are my favorite thing to grow and to buy when they’re in season. The taste is so much better compared to tomatoes you buy at any other time of the year. Not only are tomatoes tasty, but they also are very nutrient dense. Of course, the exact nutrient composition may vary depending on the tomato variety, but in general, tomatoes contain considerable amounts of vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and folate.  As I’ve mentioned before with other vegetables, vitamin K is necessary for proper blood clotting and bone health, and potassium is needed for the majority of body functions, including kidney and heart function, muscle contraction, and nerve transmission. 

In addition to these nutrients, tomatoes contain lots of different antioxidants. Tomatoes are actually one of the best sources of the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene has been very well studied, and its known to stall cancerous tumor growth and prevent the spread of cancerous cells – most notably with prostate cancer. As if that isn’t enough, lycopene, along with other antioxidants, fight free radical damage and protect the heart against oxidative stress. This can reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Lycopene in tomatoes has also been shown to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol.

Lutein is another antioxidant found in tomatoes. Lutein helps protect the eye’s retina, which is necessary for healthy vision, and it is the only antioxidant along with zeaxanthin found in the part of the eye called the macula lutea. Research has shown that lutein in tomatoes may be a natural macular degeneration treatment. Lutein also protects against light-induced skin damage or skin cancer. It’s no wonder that tomatoes are so popular; they offer so many benefits for our bodies and they are delicious!

Tomatoes can be eaten raw or cooked. You can add them to salads, sandwiches, and burgers, or cook them in chili, soups, and sauces. Since tomatoes are so versatile and we all know many ways to use them, I decided this week’s recipe could be a little more special. Try this heirloom tomato and zucchini galette for your next party or when you have extra time to make this beautiful dish! 


Heirloom Tomato and Zucchini Galette 

Ingredients: 

Cornmeal Crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (sub GF all-purpose flour)
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 egg beaten

Toppings:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs, chopped
  • 8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 small to medium heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • honey or honeycomb for serving
  • toasted walnuts for topping

Instructions: 

  1. In the bowl of a food processor combine the flour, cornmeal, salt and pepper. Pulse once or twice to combine. Add the diced butter and pulse until you end up with small pieces of butter, similar to the size of rice. Add 1/4 cup ice water to the dough and pulse until it comes together. If needed add 1-2 tablespoons more ice water until the dough comes together. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface, knead a couple of times and then form the dough into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add the butter to a skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan frequently until the onions are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the thyme. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Now grab your dough from the fridge. Flour your work surface and roll the dough to about 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Crumble the blue cheese over the bottom of the dough leaving a 3-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle on the shredded cheddar. Add the caramelized onions in an even layer and then layer on the basil, zucchini, sprinkling it with salt and pepper. Now add the tomato slices and half of the cherry tomatoes, reserving the remaining half for topping. Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Now drizzle lightly with a little honey. Fold the edge of the dough over the tomatoes. Brush the crust with the beaten egg. Place the galette in the fridge for 15 minutes or until ready to bake.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. Bake the galette for 45-55 minutes or until the crust is golden and the tomatoes are very lightly charred. Allow to cool 5 minutes and then slice and serve topped with fresh cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of honey, if desired. The crust will be crumbly so cut small slices for easier serving.

Adapted from: Half Baked Harvest Blog (https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/heirloom-tomato-zucchini-galette-honey-thyme/)


Tomatoes are the most common plant in gardens, and they are very easy to grow and maintain. However, there are problems that can arise when growing your own tomatoes, including insects, diseases, poor fruit set, and watering and feeding issues. Watch this video to learn about common tomato problems so that you can be prepared and recover your tomato plants if you notice an issue.  

Have a great weekend!

References: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/273031.php

https://draxe.com/nutrition/vegetables/tomato-nutrition/

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