Interesting is the fact tomatoes are considered one of the most popular comfort foods in or out of this world. Huh? When astronauts head into orbit one of the items on their food list is tomato soup and the reason NASA does this is it mentally makes them feel closer to home (earth), thus removing any "homesick" feelings.
So, why are tomatoes considered one of nature's wonder foods? First of all they are loaded with lycopene, one of the most powerful natural anti-cancer nutrients and what is really interesting about this is, the lycopene is stronger if the tomatoes are cooked. Tomatoes are also loaded with vitaminA, vitamin C and vitamin K. If you're ever looking to munch on something that is literally fat-free, reach for a tomato!
Tomatoes have been around since about 500 years before the birth of Christ and were first used as food items in South America. Apparently this news never made it to the "New World" as up until only a few hundred years ago tomatoes were thought to be poisonous in England and, what would become, the United States of America!
By-the-way, the tomato is a fruit!
If you love the fresh taste of raw tomatoes let me share with you an incredible dish from India. It is easy to prepare and very classy to present.
Ingredients needed to make Tomato Kachumber (serves 4 as a side dish):
- 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 tsp. minced mint
- ½ tsp. ground ginger
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp. black mustard seeds
- ¼ tsp. salt
- In a medium bowl combine the tomatoes, green onions, mint, ginger and lemon juice.
- In a small sauté pan or skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and sauté until they begin to pop. Pour over the tomatoes, season with the salt and toss to coat.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour before serving.
The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."