Tomatoes are fundamental in the Mexican kitchen—in salsas, quesadillas, ceviche, guacamole and more. The tomato originated in the Americas, after all, so it’s hardly surprising that generations of Mexican cooks have devised tasty uses for it. Traditional cooks from Sonora to Oaxaca rely on tomato sauce at least as much as Italians do, and the former mastered it first.There is no “off season” with NatureSweet tomatoes so you can ditch the canned tomatoes for your south-of-the-border recipes and use flavorful fresh tomatoes year round—in taco fillings, in menudo or in the savory turnovers known as empanadas, like these Mini Empanadas Stuffed with Tomato and Ground Beef. Mini Empanadas Stuffed with Glorys Tomatoes, Jack Cheese and Shredded Chicken.One technique of note: Mexican cooks frequently roast or char tomatoes to concentrate their flavor, heighten their sweetness and add a toasty aroma. The typical method calls for charring tomatoes with their skin on—on a griddle, under a broiler, or over a gas or charcoal flame. Then the blackened skin is removed and the peeled tomatoes are chopped or pureed. This preliminary roasting contributes a signature flavor that immediately identifies the dish as Mexican. Slow-roasting yields more of a brown-sugar taste as the tomato juices evaporate and the sugars caramelize. Chef Adam Busby demonstrates the technique in this video, using halved Glorys and SunBursts tomatoes. Blistered Glorys and SunBursts Tomato Quesadillas with Roasted Tomato Salsa. The flavor intensity is off the charts, so you need just a handful of these candy-like tomatoes to invigorate a cheese quesadilla or a salsa.You can use Chef Busby’s slow-roasted tomatoes in non-Latin dishes, too:
Many of Mexico’s countless salsas require tomatoes, both raw and cooked. The small cherry and pear tomatoes, such as Glorys, SunBursts and Cherubs, perform well in raw salsa (salsa cruda) because they hold their shape. As you watch Chef Busby make Shrimp Cocktail with Cherry Tomato and Mango Salsa, imagine other uses for this lively fruit salsa. How about as a dip for tortilla chips or a condiment for grilled tuna steaks, pork chops or sausages?
Men are more likely to enjoy tomatoes on a sandwich, while women are more likely to say they enjoy tomatoes raw and by themselves.