I love tomatoes! One of the things I love most about spring and summer is the abundance of fresh tomatoes available. I have two tomato plants growing in my urban garden and have had as many as 6 different varieties of tomato plants growing in a season. I love how versatile tomatoes are in the kitchen. You can roast them, sun-dry them, fry them, bake them, sautée them, or eat them fresh with a dash of salt. The possibilities are endless.
However, tomatoes aren’t just tasty, they’re packed with tons of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that make them a wellness powerhouse.
Here are some of the health benefits you can reap by eating tomatoes:
- Tomatoes protect heart health because they are a rich source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant touted for its ability to reduce heart disease risk factors.
- The lycopene in tomatoes also helps improve vision health.
- Tomatoes boost digestive health.
- Tomatoes help with diabetes management.
- Tomatoes cooked in olive oil have been shown to improve skin health by boosting collagen production.
- The lycopene in tomatoes has also been linked to lower risk of prostate, lung, ovarian, and stomach cancers.
Source: Healthline: 7 Health Benefits of Tomatoes
Now that we’ve learned a little more about why tomatoes are so good for us, get into this tasty salad that’s a hit at all my family dinners!
What You’ll Need:
- Ripe and Juicy Cherry or Grape tomatoes
- 1 shallot
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 green onions (scallions)
- Fresh mint, basil and Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
- Sea or kosher salt
- Cracked black pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Red wine or white balsamic vinegar
- Chopped Tuscan kale (also known as Lacinato or Dinosaur kale)
- 1 large lemon
- Feta cheese (optional)
What to Do:
Prep the Ingredients:
- Rinse and drain kale and tomatoes
- Slice tomatoes in half
- Thinly chop green onions
- Finely dice shallot
- Finely chop garlic
- Rough chop the herbs (mint, basil & parsley)
Prepare the tomato salad topping:
- Combine tomatoes, green onions, shallot, garlic, and herbs in a medium mixing bowl.
- Season with salt and black pepper to taste
- Add 1-2 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil (just enough to coat the tomato salad mixture)
- Add vinegar 3-4 Tbsp of red wine or white balsamic vinegar (this will form a nice vinaigrette)
- Toss ingredients together until well mixed and cover the mixing bowl and set aside. I let my tomato salad “marinate” for a couple of hours before serving.
Prepare the kale: (Do this right before serving)
- Add kale to large serving bowl
- Squeeze fresh lemon over the kale
- Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil
- Season kale with sea salt & cracked black pepper
- Toss kale until all leaves are coated
Plate the salad:
Add the tomato salad on top of the kale & serve! Top with feta cheese if desired. Enjoy! Bon appétit!