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!
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.