These bite-sized beauties are bursting with the fresh, sweet flavor of summer.
The round, bite-sized tomatoes
of this variety are typically an inch or less in diameter and bright
red or yellow-gold in color. Bred to be sweet in flavor, they're often
eaten raw, tossed with salads or used as garnish. Cooked, they make a
delicious side dish when lightly sautéed
with fresh herbs
There are many different types of cherry tomatoes, but the most popular
are called Sweet 100s
. These beauties are known for their exceptional
sweetness. Other types include Sungolds, Mini Charms, Grape
on-the-vine cluster tomatoes
. Clusters are left attached to the vine so
they continue to draw moisture and nutrients for several days after
harvesting. These are super fresh and flavorful, and therefore higher
in price as well.
Fresh tomatoes are available year-round, but they're most plentiful and
flavorful at the end of summer. Cherry tomatoes are typically sold in
pints and you should look for packages that contain plump, brightly
colored tomatoes with smooth skins. Avoid shriveled tomatoes with
blemishes or cracks. When it comes to color, orange or yellow varieties
are novel, but they're less acidic and less flavorful. Use these for
garnishing and stick to reds for eating.
Keep all tomatoes at room temperature and away from sunlight. (Storing
them in the refrigerator will make them pulpy and dull in flavor.) Use
ripe tomatoes within two to three days.
Cherry tomatoes make an easy and elegant appetizer when stuffed with
filling. Simply slice off the top of the tomato and use a small
teaspoon or melon baller to scoop out the inside. Then stuff with your
favorite cheese spread or dip.
Fresh tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C
and lycopene, a carotenoid that may fight cancer and heart disease.
Your body absorbs more lycopene from tomatoes that are cooked, so go
ahead and drizzle some olive oil
in a skillet and sauté your cherry tomatoes until they start to pop
(about three minutes). Remove from heat and sprinkle with salt, pepper,
basil, bread, cannellini beans, chick peas, chicken, couscous, dill,
eggplant, garlic, mozzarella, olive oil, olives, onions, oregano,
Parmesan, pasta, peppers, ricotta, tuna, turkey