Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Summer bounty: tomatoes

The tomato is the edible, red fruit of Solanum lycopersicum, commonly known as atomato plant, which belongs to the nightshade family, Solanaceae.
The species originated in Central and South America. The Nahuatl (Aztec language) word tomatl gave rise to the Spanish word "tomate", where the English word tomato comes from.
Numerous varieties of tomato are widely grown in temperate climates across the world, with greenhouses allowing its production throughout the year and in cooler areas. The plants typically grow to 1–3 meters (3–10 ft) in height and have a weak stem that often sprawls over the ground and vines over other plants. It is a perennial in its native habitat, and grown as an annual in temperate climates. An average common tomato weighs approximately 4 oz.
Its use as a food originated in Mexico, and spread throughout the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas. Tomato is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes, sauces,salads, and drinks. While tomatoes are botanically berry-type fruits, they are considered culinary vegetables, being ingredients of savory meals

Open-faced tomato sandwiches with creamy cucumber spread


(8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
cucumbers, seeds removed, diced (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
2 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus more for serving
Texas Toast slices or other thick white bread slices, toasted
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 lb. assorted fresh tomatoes (about 3 large), cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Thinly sliced chives


1. Stir together cream cheese, cucumbers, red onion, dill, mint, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl until well combined.
2. Spread about 1/4 cup of the cucumber mixture onto each slice of the toasted bread. Top each with 2 to 3 tomato slices, and drizzle each with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Sprinkle tomatoes with chives, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately