Ingredient of the Week: Roma Tomatoes
Photo by John Suh
What is it?
Also called the Italian tomato, the Roma tomato is a common type of plum tomato: egg-shaped, with fewer seeds than the round tomato. (All Romas are plum tomatoes--also called paste tomatoes -- but not all plum tomatoes are Romas.) Summer is the Roma's peak season, but they're available year-round from California, Florida and Mexico.
How do I use it?
Because they are meatier and less seedy than other types of tomatoes, they are favored for canning or making sauces and pastes. Pick a Roma that is firm with a smooth skin Also, the more vibrant the red of the tomato, the riper it is. If your tomatoes still possess a green tint, leave them out of direct sunlight at room temperature, and they should ripen within a few days. Fully ripe tomatoes should be used within a couple of days; you can store them in the fridge, but this may affect flavor. Use Roma tomatoes in any of your Italian recipes.
Where can I find it?
At any grocery store.
Utilizing seasonal ingredients like Roma tomatoes and basil, bruschetta makes for a refreshing summer appetizer. Chop Roma tomatoes, garlic, red onion, and fresh basil leaves using whatever proportions of ingredients you desire. Combine in a bowl and add extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate to let flavors develop. Slice a baguette on the bias. Butter the slices and toast. Scoop the tomato mixture on top of the slices, and grate fresh parmesan cheese if desired. Buon appetito!
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