Tomato Season Is Here!

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition
basil planting vegetables

One of the simplest and most sublime pleasures of summer is eating a fresh tomato. And by fresh tomato we mean one you plucked, still warm from the sun, from the vine in your back yard or a planter on your porch or balcony. Or one you selected at the farmer’s market, or from the local produce section of your supermarket. Because nothing comes even close to the taste of a fresh, locally-grown tomato.

Don’t get us wrong. We’re very grateful to the hot house farmers who keep us stocked with nice red tasty tomatoes all winter, if only because they spare us the ordeal of having to eat those waxy pinkish things sold under the “tomato” banner all winter long, the things that are picked in far-off fields while still green or white and shipped to us with the hope that they will ripen before reaching our tables.

So this weekend, we want you to go to your nearby farmer’s market—there are more than 8,000 across the country now, twice the number there were in 2009—or local grocery and buy a fresh local tomato. If it still feels a little bit hard or isn’t completely ripe, put it in a brown paper bag and leave it on your counter so it ripens quickly.

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Then wash it well, dry it, and slice it. We prefer thick slices so we can cut them almost like we’re cutting a steak. We also get rid of the end pieces, just because we don’t like them. Then arrange each slice on a big plate and drizzle with balsamic vinegar; wait a few minutes to let the vinegar soak in, then add a drizzle of olive oil (a Nutrisystem Extra—all the other ingredients are unlimited) and some fresh black pepper. Finally, add a couple of leaves of fresh basil—also in season—to each slice of tomato.

We can list all the health benefits of what you’re about to eat, but who wants to read when such pleasure awaits? Mangia.