Harvest of the Month: Tomatoes

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It’s the time of year — tomatoes of every size, shape, and color can be found on Martha’s Vineyard, from tiny yellow Sungold cherries to striped Green Zebras, to heirlooms the size of a plate. Go check out your local farm stand or the Farmers Market, and see how many different types you can collect.

Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, tomatoes are a healthy and delicious addition to many summer snacks. Toss with basil, mozzarella balls, and vinaigrette for an easy salad; roast with garlic and olive oil and spread on a baguette; or chop them up with your favorite peppers to make salsa.

Tomato Panzanella Salad

Recipe by Robin Forte

Croutons:

¼ cup fresh parsley, minced

2 tsp. fresh thyme, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

¼ cup olive oil

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

½ tsp red pepper flakes, optional

2 cups crusty Italian-style bread cut into 1-inch cubes; day old is good

Salad:

1½ – 2 lb. tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes

½ cup purple onion, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, finely minced

¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

Dressing:

⅓ cup red wine vinegar

⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine parsley, thyme, garlic, and Parmesan cheese; mix well. Then add olive oil, stir until well combined. Add bread cubes, toss to coat. Arrange seasoned bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, approximately 8-10 minutes. Cool completely.

Combine tomato mixture with croutons, toss with dressing, and allow to sit for an hour or so before serving.

Ava Castro is the preschool coordinator for Island Grown Schools, the Vineyard’s farm-to-school program.