While they are botanically a fruit, tomatoes are known as a vegetable for culinary purposes and by US tax laws. Whatever you want to call them, tomatoes are best grown yourself. I was thrilled to plant our garden this year, although I definitely don’t have green thumb, I can usually manage to grow some decent herbs. In addition to the herbs, the one vegetable that has grown surprising well is the tomato plant. Nothing beats the flavor of a fresh tomato from the garden and next year I know to plant several more. Tomatoes are constantly on my weekly shopping list- we use them daily in salads, sandwiches, on pizza, in side dishes, for tomato sauce, etc. It is such a versatile vegetable so it’s so great to have easy access to them.
Tomatoes are extremely nutritious too. High in a cancer-fighting component called lycopene, this is one vegetable you want to eat daily. Like the majority of vegetables they are low in calories and also an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A which can help protect your cells and cell membranes from damage as well as help reduce inflammation in the body. Tomatoes are also good source of fiber, which has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. All of that and they taste good!
Our neighbors have been out of town and wanted us to use up their tomatoes as well so we had plenty to utilize in the kitchen. Although I’ll admit I’ve snacked on more plain cherry tomatoes this week just because they are out on the kitchen counter. I knew I needed to incorporate some into our dinner this weekend as well and I immediately thought of a very simple tomato salad- a little onion, a little garlic, some herbs. Perfect. I also loved that it took under 5 minutes to prepare. A simple side dish to any entree!
I hope you have some delicious tomatoes growing in your garden, but if not, take advantage of their peak season and stock up at the grocery store. Hope you enjoy this tasty tomato salad and stop by Nutritious Eats for more recipes and nutrition tips!
Tomato, Onion & Basil Salad
4 tomatoes off the vine, cut into bite sized chunks
1/2 small sweet white onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup basil, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 garlic clove, minced
2 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the tomatoes through garlic. Toss with the olive oil, vinegar and season with salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Serves 2 to 4.
COOK’S NOTES: Feel free to use more tomatoes, depending on their size. Mine were pretty good sized so four was plenty. You can adjust the remaining ingredients accordingly.