Ten years ago, Island Grown Schools started a Harvest of the Month program to highlight a locally available seasonal crop each month in school cafeterias and grocery stores. The goal was to teach children, families, and the Island community about healthy, seasonal foods while helping to support local farms.
Our first ever Harvest of the Month crop was the tomato — the sweet, colorful prize of late summer. I’ve heard many people say that tomatoes grown on-Island are some of the best. Some say it’s the salt in the air or something in the soil that gives them that special flavor. Visit your local farmstand and explore the different shapes and colors — from tiny red and gold cherry tomatoes to giant multi-colored heirlooms.
Tomatoes are a great source of antioxidants, lycopene, and vitamins A and C. There are so many ways to incorporate tomatoes into a late summer meal. Use a pint of cherries to make kebobs with diced cheese and cucumber. Chopped tomatoes can add flavor to soups and stir-fries. You can also try your hand at making homemade salsa, or add local tomatoes to a sandwich with fresh mozzarella, basil, pesto, and balsamic vinaigrette.
Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes, Corn, and Basil
1 lb pasta
3-4 big, ripe tomatoes, chopped into rough chunks
1-2 ears fresh corn, kernels cut off
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper
Zest and juice of one lemon
Mix tomatoes, corn, basil, garlic, and olive oil in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Let marinate.
While tomato mixture rests, cook pasta according to directions.
Drain pasta and toss directly into the bowl of vegetables. Add lemon zest and some lemon juice, then toss. Taste and season with more salt, pepper, or lemon juice if needed.
Recipe by Maura Martin and Austin Racine of Mo’s Lunch.