• Salad: Who’s Missing Lettuce?

    If “salad” means leafy greens to you, you’re missing out on a vast global repertoire of salads built on grains, pasta, beans and seafood. Many of the world’s tastiest salads don’t contain a single lettuce leaf. 

    For some fresh salad ideas for everyday meals, venture beyond greens and look for inspiration in underutilized ingredients like farro, couscous, bulgur and pearled barley; lentils, beans and chick peas; shrimp, smoked trout and canned tuna. Play around with pasta shapes like orecchiette and orzo, and stock your pantry with high-flavor salad additions such as anchovies, capers, harissa, tahini and olives. Good extra virgin olive oil and an assortment of vinegars can fuel your creativity with dressings.

    Tomatoes add juiciness and appetizing color to these non-leafy salads. Small, compact tomatoes like Cherubs, Glorys and SunBursts work best; they hold up well in salads and won’t dilute your dressing. Combine red and gold types for extra eye appeal.

    Here are a few tips for creating successful salads that don’t rely on greens.

    • Vary your vinegar: Choose red or white wine vinegar, Champagne vinegar, balsamic vinegar, golden balsamic, sherry vinegar or rice vinegar. Fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice can also provide the acidity that all salads need.
    • Be sure cooked grains (farro, rice, wild rice, barley, bulgur) are dry so they don’t dilute your dressing. Never used farro? This ancient wheat makes a hearty, wholesome salad with Cherubs tomatoes and vinaigrette. Watch chef Adam Busby demonstrate a Middle Eastern variation with pomegranates and pistachios. Farro Salad with Cherubs Tomatoes, Pistachios, and Pomegranate Seeds.
    • For pasta salad, drain boiled pasta and rinse it to stop the cooking, then drain again well and toss with olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking.
    • Add vinaigrette to salad gradually so you don’t overdress. Taste and adjust after dressing. Salads based on beans and grains tend to need more acidity and salt than leafy salads.
    • Be generous with fresh herbs. Any salad that includes tomatoes will welcome basil—you know that—but also consider fresh dill, tarragon, chives, Italian parsley, Thai basil, cilantro and mint.
    • Do mix beans and grains. They are complementary. Combine cooked bulgur and Israeli couscous. Add chick peas, parsley, mint, halved Glorys tomatoes and a lemony dressing.
    • Salt draws juices from tomatoes, so season salads shortly before serving.

    Watch chef Adam Busby make Cherry Tomato Caprese Pasta Salad. If you like his recipe, make it yours the next time by substituting canned tuna for the bocconcini.

    Tomato Sandwiches: Every ’Wich Way

    Tomato Sandwiches: Every ’Wich Way

    Sliced tomatoes are to sandwiches what butter is to toast—not required, but highly recommended. A good, juicy tomato makes almost every sandwich better, but most tomatoes are too big for the task. You know what happens: you use half of one and the other half languishes in the fridge. A week later it’s still there—mushy and unusable.

    Jubilees tomatoes eliminate the waste because they’re bred to be “sandwich size.” One tomato = one sandwich.

    Grown year round, they have ripe-red color, juicy texture and sun-sweet flavor consistently. So, sandwich fans, you don’t need to settle for those hard, pale, cottony globes that pass for tomatoes in winter. Jubilees elevate sandwiches and burgers in every season. Need some ideas?

    Salad-Bar Sandwiches

    Raid your supermarket’s salad bar for the ingredients for these creations. All you need to add is bread and tomatoes.

    • Pita pockets with hummus, pickled peppers, red onion and Jubilees
    • Whole-grain toast with egg salad, marinated artichoke hearts and Jubilees
    • Greek salad sandwich with lettuce, cucumbers, red onion, Kalamata olives, feta and Jubilees

    Breakfast Sandwiches

    • Toasted “everything” bagel with cream cheese, chopped dill and Jubilees
    • Toasted English muffins with Jubilees and a poached or fried egg
    • Levain toast with Jubilees, sliced avocado and sea salt 

    Grilled Panini

    • Grilled pepper ham, Gruyère and Jubilees on rye
    • Grilled focaccia with sliced mozzarella, pesto and Jubilees
    • Grilled ciabatta with prosciutto, Fontina, tapenade and Jubilees

    Watch Culinary Institute of America chef Adam Busby demonstrate two more sandwiches that showcase Jubilee tomatoes. His crusty Grilled Tomato and Mozzarella Sandwich will have you improvising variations (with goat cheese? with pepper jack?). And his BLT Sliders are party worthy. Bet you can’t eat just one.

    Grilling Tomatoes: Glorys of Grilling

    NatureSweet Glorys are the “cooking tomato”. You can stir-fry them, simmer them or roast them. They even stand up to the grill. Which makes them ideal for kebabs and other skewered creations—or for stovetop grill-pan cooking. And because they are harvested every week of the year, with full color and ripe taste, you can enjoy them even when the grilling moves indoors.

    With the following fresh ideas, you can make dinner into a year-round grillfest. 

    Skewer Glorys with…

    • Yogurt-marinated chicken thighs with red onion. Grill and serve with charred limes and homemade tomato chutney. Get the recipe and watch Chef Sandy Sauter prepare Indian Tomato Chutney with Tikka-Spiced Chicken Kebabs.
    • Cubes of mozzarella. Grill just until the cheese softens. Place each skewer on a slice of grilled bread, remove the skewer, and brush with an oregano and garlic vinaigrette.
    • Chunks of swordfish and lemon slices. Grill and drizzle with tahini sauce.
    • Shrimp, blanched pearl onions and green bell pepper. Serve with romesco sauce.
    • Mushrooms, zucchini and steamed and halved “creamer” potatoes. Serve with aioli.
    • Chunks of Italian fennel sausage, red onion and bell peppers. Serve on polenta.
    • Chunks of eggplant, onion and pork tenderloin; baste with teriyaki sauce.
    • Chunks of beef, oiled bread.
    • Chicken livers, bacon and green onions.
    • Firm tofu, bell peppers and shiitake; serve with spicy peanut sauce.
    • Fresh tuna; serve on butter lettuce with hard-cooked eggs, Niçoise olives and anchovy vinaigrette.

    Tomato Appetizers: Your Private Tapas Bar

    You don’t need to leave your home to visit a Spanish-style tapas bar. You can open your own. Start by stocking your bar with chilled fino sherry and cava (sparkling wine); a dry Spanish white wine like Albariño or Verdejo; a young, fruity red wine like Garnacha; and a favorite beer.

    For the tapas, prepare an assortment of banderillas, the colorful skewered appetizers popular in Spanish bars. Small tomatoes like Glorys, SunBursts and Cherubs are ideal for banderillas.

    In the Spanish spirit, skewer the tomatoes with a variety of pickled, marinated and cured foods. Alternate colors for eye appeal and keep all the components small. A banderilla should be consumed in one or two bites so that you experience the contrast in textures and flavors. Toothpicks are fine, but decorative cocktail picks will earn you some style points.

    Suggested ingredients for your banderillas? Glorys, SunBursts and Cherubs Tomatoes paired with:

    • Green and black olives
    • Rolled anchovies
    • Boquerones (pickled anchovies)
    • Pickled herring
    • Canned tuna in olive oil
    • Cocktail onions
    • Pimientos or roasted red peppers
    • Smoked trout
    • Small shrimp
    • Smoked mussels
    • Chunks of lobster
    • Sliced Spanish chorizo
    • Wedges of hard-cooked egg or whole quail eggs
    • Asparagus tips
    • Cubed avocado
    • Marinated artichoke hearts
    • Marinated mushrooms
    • Boiled potato cubes
    • Chunks of cornichons

    Once you’ve assembled the skewers, you can moisten them with vinaigrette. Many banderillas can be made hours ahead and refrigerated, but bring them to room temperature for serving.

    Dried Tomatoes: Don’t Knock It Until You Dry It

    In southern Italy, where sunshine is plentiful and tomatoes abundant, many gardeners sun-dry some of their summer harvest for winter use. The blazing sun evaporates moisture, so the leathery tomatoes can be stored for months.

    Americans fell hard for sun-dried tomatoes in the 1980s—and then just as quickly decided that they were passé and overused. The chewy tomatoes became a cliché, and trend-conscious chefs moved on.

    Enter oven-dried tomatoes, a juicier, tastier and more versatile variation that home cooks can prepare in hours. You don’t need a dehydrator. You don’t even need sun. These tomatoes are moister than sun-dried tomatoes, with a sweet, highly concentrated flavor. Although they aren’t dried enough to store, they have much more intensity than fresh tomatoes. When you want that heightened tomato taste without a lot of juice—in a thick spread or dip, for example—look to oven-dried tomatoes for the job.

    Chef Adam Busby has developed an easy method for drying small tomatoes—such as Glorys, SunBursts or Cherubs—in a home oven. Chef Busby adds these tiny flavor nuggets to tapenade, the Provençal olive spread, to boost the umami without thinning the texture. Watch Chef Busy make Oven-Dried Tomato Tapenade.

    Tomato Tapenade makes a creative condiment for a cheese board, as Chef Busby shows. Some other suggestions:

    • Broil mozzarella-topped toasts, then garnish with a spoonful of Tomato Tapenade.
    • Make grilled panini with mozzarella and Tomato Tapenade.
    • Offer Tomato Tapenade in a crock with sliced burrata and garlic toast.
    • Spread Tomato Tapenade on crostini and serve with cocktails or with a salad.
    • Toss spaghetti or linguine with Tomato Tapenade.
    • Slather Tomato Tapenade on grilled or baked halibut, sea bass, tuna or swordfish.
    • Pass Tomato Tapenade as a condiment for salade Niçoise.
    • Use Tomato Tapenade as a spread on a roast pork or turkey sandwich.
    • Spread Tomato Tapenade on a boneless lamb leg or shoulder, then tie and roast.

    Like Cheese and Tomatoes?

    Italy’s beloved pizza margherita proves that tomatoes and cheese bring out the best in each other. Cheese provides the salt that tomatoes can’t do without, and tomatoes, high in acidity, cut through the richness. The duo delights us again and again: in insalata caprese, everybody’s favorite summer salad of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil; in horiatiki, the inspired Greek salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, feta and olives; and in that everyday bowl of tomato-sauced penne, incomplete without a shower of Parmigiano or pecorino.

    Wherever tomatoes go, cheese often follows. In Provence, cooks pipe seasoned goat cheese into hollowed cherry tomatoes, the perfect pre-dinner nibble with a brisk dry rosé. The same pairing makes this Tomato Tart with Herbed Goat Cheese so appealing. Serve in thin slices as an hors d’oeuvre or in larger portions with a green salad for lunch.

    In the Greek kitchen, fresh tomatoes accompany feta in so many ways: tomato and bulgur soup garnished with grated feta; twice-baked rusks blanketed with chopped tomato, capers and feta; fried eggplants topped with feta and tomato sauce and baked. In this video demo of Baked Feta with Chopped Olives, Herbs and Tomato, you’ll discover another delectable Greek way to marry tomato and cheese.

    Fresh tomatoes can elevate your cheese board, too. Serve burrata with oven-roasted tomatoes, or ricotta topped with garlicky sautéed SunBursts tomatoes. The British classic, Cheddar with chutney, can also inspire creative riffs like this Baked Camembert with Sweet and Spicy Tomato Chutney and Candied Walnuts.

    A few other ideas for uniting tomato and cheese:

    • Stuff Jubilees tomatoes with bread crumbs, Parmesan, sautéed onion and extra virgin olive oil and bake.
    • Slice Jubilees tomatoes and red onion; top with crumbled blue cheese and vinaigrette.
    • Make a grilled quesadilla with sliced Jubilees tomatoes, green chile strips and pepper jack.
    • Toss halved Cherubs and SunBursts tomatoes with halved bocconcini, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and oregano.
    • Toss pasta with a marinara sauce made with Glorys tomatoes and basil, then top with a dollop of ricotta.
    • Fill tacos with black or pinto beans, crumbled queso fresco and Cherubs tomato salsa
  • Mushroom Fact
    FUN FACT

    As far as knowing about the tomato’s origin, Americans firmly believe that tomatoes originated in Italy (nearly 50%) instead of its native Peru (19%).

  • NatureSweet