The complaints vary. Raw tomatoes are slimy. Cooked tomatoes are mushy. I once heard someone say that tomatoes have an identity crisis—they’re not sweet enough to be eaten as a fruit, and not savory enough to be used as a vegetable. Fair enough, I suppose. If you’re eating nasty tomatoes. But I think life is too short to eat anything nasty, and nasty tomatoes especially. Because tomatoes are wonderful, and taste wonderful.
Plus, their health benefits don’t suck. Like other berries (yes, they are berries) tomatoes—especially cooked tomatoes—contain the most powerful natural antioxidants. Eating tomatoes can decrease the risk of skin cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer. Scientists are beginning to link tomatoes’ cancer-fighting powers to lycopene, the chemical pigment that makes tomatoes red. Tomatoes are also believed to prevent heart disease. They are also a good source of vitamins A and C. Among other things.
I am not usually in the business of peddling health advice, but I like tomatoes quite a lot, and I will defend them against naysayers, even if it means playing the nutrition card.
This simple recipe for broiled tomatoes is my favorite way to eat one of my favorite vegetables (or, fruits… whatever.) I haven’t encountered a single person who hasn’t liked it. And I make it for just about everybody. So, eat up.
– Angela M.
Steakhouse Broiled Tomatoes
– 4 large ripe tomatoes
– 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
– 4 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese (or more, if you like)
– Chopped parsley (for garnish)
– Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Remove tomato stem and all other tough green stuff. Halve the tomatoes, lay them face-up on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Broil for 15 minutes (depending on the size of the tomato), or until the olive oil begins to sizzle and tomatoes are tender. While they are still hot, sprinkle each tomato half with blue cheese and a chopped parsley, to taste. I like serving this with–you guessed it–a nice big steak, and some sauteed spinach too, if the spirit moves you.