Not too long ago, I wrote about my challenge with returning produce in an article called Rotten Grapes and Ripped Jeans. I have never been one to return produce. When rotten produce brings an infestation of fruit flies into my home I am just going to have to say something.
A couple of weeks ago, I had picked up a large amount of tomatoes from the farmer's market so that I could make Grandma Meghan’s Secret Tomato Sauce. When I got home and started unloading everything, those tomaytees were good and rotten. The next time I was at the market, I did complain, only because the guys who run that stall flirt with me, so that made it easier. They gave me a whole batch of new tomatoes, and yeppers, I unpacked them when I got home and they were again rottenalicious- with these deep bruises on them that days later started splitting open, making superb breeding ground for more fruit flies.
Something needed to be done with these tomaytees, and quickly. I asked around for some ideas and narrowed it down to tomato soup or tomato salsa. Josh had suggested I go with the soup, so the cooking of the tomatoes would free up the lycopene. Well, you know what won.
Lycopene is something that is found in certain fruits and vegetables that the bod uses as an antioxidant.The most common benefit is prostate protection, but ladies, all the ladies... gather around- cause some of them have nothing to do with men's health.
- Cancer prevention; especially prostate cancer, mouth cancer, and others.
- Guards against aging of the skin.
- Helps with problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular system issues and disease.
- May prevent osteoporosis.
- Can assist with fertility problems in men.
Like all nutrients, tomatoes are of course not the only source of lycopene. This phytonutrient likes to chill out in other pink/red fruits and veg too like pink grapefruit, watermelon, guava, rosehips and papaya. But since most those others don't grow on trees (or vines as the case may be) around these parts, tomatoes it is! Cooking and crushing tomatoes helps free up the bioavailable lycopene, meaning the lycopene that our body can absorb and use.
To keep that lycopene free and ready, I chose to experiment with a Spicy Roasted Tomato Salsa.
The Roof Is On Fiya Roasted Tomato Salsa
10-12 Roma tomatoes (with rotten bits cut out if necessary- see tale above), cut in quarters lengthwise
1 medium onion, cut into six wedges, and parts separated
4 cloves of garlic clove, halved
a couple pinches of finely ground sea salt
2-3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced in quarters
cayenne to taste (how hot can you handle?)
- Heat oven to 400F degrees.
- Toss together all ingredients except cayenne
- Arrange veggies in a single layer in a glass baking dish or roasting pan, or parchment lined baking sheet
- Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Puree about two tomatoes with the roasted garlic
- Chop remaining tomatoes by hand or in food processor and add cayenne to taste.Now, go get your dancing shoes and jazz hands our of storage. Ole, Ole, Ole! Feeling hot, hot, hot!