Tomatoes Are The Ideal No-Cook Meal During A Heat Wave
(CNN) – It’s difficult to argue that tomatoes are the perfect summer meal, which is saying a lot in a season when so much product is at its best. But when a heatwave hits, as it has in most of the United States in recent weeks, the tomato truly shows its value.
Tomatoes on their own are exactly what the doctor prescribed. “Raw tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, and folate, as well as lycopene, an antioxidant,” said Lauren Manganiello, a registered dietitian and sports nutritionist on Long Island, New York.
Though boiling tomatoes increases their lycopene concentration, Manganiello claims that an uncooked tomato has enough to be worth your time. Add a little olive oil if you really want to boost your antioxidant intake. “Consuming fresh tomatoes with a source of fat, such as olive oil, is an excellent method to increase lycopene absorption,” she said.
You can transform a crop of tomatoes into a really delicious dinner with a few swipes of a knife, and in many instances, you can accomplish it without touching a stove burner knob.
Because it’s difficult enough to get through these sweltering days without adding the agony of a hot kitchen, the following extremely simple tomato dishes are either no-cook or need just a few chop-and-prep steps.
Sandwiches and salads
Why Tomatoes Are The Ideal No-Cook Meal? A summer tomato may be the most delectable component of a BLT.
When it comes down to it, virtually everything can be turned into a salad or a sandwich; the possibilities are limitless. Nothing exemplifies this better than a tomato sandwich.
Southerners like the simplicity of a tomato sandwich on white bread with mayonnaise and salt on the side. If you wish to add additional ingredients, you may create a tomato sandwich every day of the week.
Substitute hummus, ranch dressing, cream cheese, or spicy mustard for the mayonnaise. Serve with a sliced hard-boiled egg or avocado. Take extra napkins for the dripping disaster that is cherry pepper relish or pickled onions. If you’re looking for something more traditional, there’s always the BLT.
A classic Caprese salad, for example, maybe made even more summery with a few fruity ingredients. On a salad plate, layer slices of fresh peaches or watermelon with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil, or create Caprese skewers for a kid-friendly variation.
Do you have any leftover grilled steak, shrimp, or chicken? Make it the foundation for a Cobb salad with as many tomatoes other extra fridge ingredients as you can manage. Start with this recipe and throw in ingredients like roasted red peppers and seasoned chickpeas to suit your preferences.
Spreads and sauces
We all like ladling slow-simmered marinara sauce over pasta, but the heat of July may not be the ideal time to make a large quantity. Instead, make a no-cook tomato sauce that bursts with the juiciness of fresh tomatoes. Serve over a hearty chickpea or whole-grain spaghetti.
The term “pesto” seems to be associated with basil, although tomatoes may also be found in this rustic sauce. Tomato pesto, also known as pesto alla Trapanese, is a classic Sicilian dish that may be made swiftly in a food processor. Use it to season a pasta salad or a grain dish.
Either of these sauces works nicely as a topping on bruschetta and crostini for an impromptu happy hour with munchies.
Cooking on the barbecue
Grill your salmon fillets in foil on a grill pan.
Get out of the kitchen and turn on the grill if you can’t take the heat. You won’t have to spend much time over the flame, but grilled meals with tomatoes are ideal for a hot dinner on a hot day.
Foil package meals are perhaps the simplest method to barbecue with little mess and cleaning. Place salmon fillets on heavy-duty foil drizzled with olive oil, then top with halved cherry tomatoes and herbs like rosemary, dill, or cilantro.
This technique is endlessly adaptable, so if you want to add additional shellfish, such as shrimp or scallops, or other summer vegetables, you can tailor it to each family member’s preferences.
If chips and salsa are all you want, create your own by charring entire tomatoes, peppers, and onions on the grill. A few minutes is all that is required to blister their skins and enhance the taste of the mix.
Finally, if you have an abundance of tomatoes and some spare time, why not play mixologist and create fresh tomato water for cocktails? Tomato water is just the gently — very slowly — strained liquid from tomato, and it’s a low-maintenance method to create fantastic beverages.
Place a metal strainer over a deep basin and line it with a flour sack towel or cheesecloth. Chop the tomatoes and season with salt before placing them in the towel and refrigerating for at least eight hours and up to 24 hours.
After an overnight rest, what’s left is tomato water, which may be used in martinis and Bloody Marys, or combined with gin or vodka and tonic for a delicious summer sip.
That’s how Tomatoes Are The Ideal No-Cook Meal