Tomatoes: A symbol of the south
by June Winters
Jul 16, 2013 | 5731 views |  0 comments | 48 48 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If I could choose the finest jewel in the garden, I would choose a tomato – hands down!

Every year I can hardly wait for the tomato plants to begin showing the beautiful, red, ripe, juicy fruit that will soon be on my plate!

There’s something about a tomato sandwich, using homegrown tomatoes, that just can’t be beat. It becomes more of a “symbol of the south” every year.

As if the taste were not enough to win a big award for the tomato – it’s one of ten most healthy foods you can eat!

Tomatoes are good for healthy bones since they contain a good supply of antioxidants.

Know as a “heart healthy food,” the tomato contains vitamin C, beta-carotene, mineral manganese, and vitamin E.

It contains lutein for the eyes, and has proven to have anti-cancer benefits, especially for prostate cancer. Research has also proven that diets which include tomatoes help reduce the risk of neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease.

The tomato is not only a fruit, but it is also a berry since it is formed from one ovary. The French sometimes refer to tomatoes as “pomme d’amour,” meaning “love apple.”

TOMATO PIE

1 frozen deep-dish pie shell

4 medium sized sliced tomatoes

6 slices bacon, fried and crumbled

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Three-fourths cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon dried parsley

Salt and pepper


Bake pie shell in a preheated 375 degree oven; let cool. Wash and slice tomatoes, (I peel mine). Fill the bottom of the pie shell with the sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper; set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, cheese and parsley. Mix well and cover the top of the sliced tomatoes with the mixture.

Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Let sit at least 20 minutes before slicing.

TUNA-STUFFED TOMATO

2 (6 ounce) cans water-packed tuna

2 tablespoons pickle relish (sweet or dill)

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

One-half teaspoon salt

One-half medium onion, grated

Fresh Tomatoes

Fresh lettuce leaves


In a small mixing bowl, combine tuna, mayonnaise, relish, onion and salt; set aside.

Cut blossom end of tomato and remove a small section. Cut stem end and remove entire section so that tomato will sit straight on the plate.

Beginning at blossom end make 3 cuts down the middle of the tomato almost to the bottom. Pull sections apart and fill cavity with tuna Salad. Serve on a bed of lettuce.

Tomatoes can also be cut in half length-wise. Scoop out the inside of tomato and toss with the tuna salad. Fill halves with the salad mixture.

FRIED GREEN TOMATOES

1 cup self-rising cornmeal

2 tablespoons flour

One-half teaspoon black pepper

4 medium green tomatoes

One-half cup cooking oil

Salt


Combine cornmeal, flour and black pepper in a small brown bag; shake well and set aside.

Wash and slice green tomatoes. Salt both sides of the slices lightly so that juices will form on top.

Heat cooking oil in a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Place 5 or 6 slices of tomato in the bag of coating each time. When the oil is hot, drop the slices in; brown on both sides. Stand the fried tomatoes on the sides of a bowl lined with paper towels to cool. Serve warm.