Although summer may be coming to an end, from a food nerd standpoint, I am all smiles because it is tomato season. When fruit and vegetables are picked fresh they are the most nutrition-packed they can be. Tomatoes contain the antioxidants vitamin C and A, that help your body defend itself from free radicals (think wild chemicals in your body that are roaming free and want to cause chaos) and they also contain lycopene which has a cancer protective effect. The level of lycopene is actually higher in tomatoes that are cooked vs. raw tomatoes; it is also helpful to eat tomatoes with a bit of fat- like olive oil- to help the absorption of lycopene.
Tomatoes don’t show up alone, when they are ready to make their summer debut they come in dozens. What can you do with tomatoes besides eating them raw in salads, salsas, or gazpacho? Here is a summer tomato sauce recipe that I love:
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh basil
Tablespoon dried oregano
Sea salt, fresh pepper
1-2 tablespoons red pepper flakes.
Sauté olive oil, onions and garlic about 5 minutes.
Add diced tomatoes and bring to soft boil.
Lower temp to medium or so and cook 15 minutes uncovered.
Add herbs and spices.
Cook until desire thickness (I like to cook on low simmer about 30 minutes).
I must confess, I was going to freeze half of the sauce I made but it was so darn good I ended up finishing it with a fresh baguette and a glass of wine. Cheers!