Tomato Blog Post by Tom Milford
The tomato was originally harvested by the Aztecs, who used it in cooking and as gifts to newlyweds, thinking it increased fertility. When the Spanish conquistadors conquered the Aztecs, they took the tomato with them to the Old World. The tomato saw limited success as a decorative plant. It wasn’t until the tomato was introduced to the Caribbean that its use took off. It spread to Asia and became part of Indian cuisine. As a member of the nightshade family, the tomato was considered by many to be poisonous during its early years outside of Spain. The tomato was still grown for aesthetic purposes across Europe. The tomato was brought to the 13 colonies that would later become America in the early 1700s. A botanist named Alexander W. Livingston developed the paragon variety of tomato after much trial and error. The development of the paragon variety led tomatoes to take off in popularity. Today, the tomato is used in a variety of dishes around the world.
4 large fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced
½ English cucumber, peeled and finely diced
½ cup finely diced red bell pepper
¼ cup minced green onion
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 pinch dried oregano
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pint cherry tomatoes
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
Step 1 Combine diced tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, green onion, jalapeno, and garlic in a large bowl. Stir in salt, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.
Step 2 Place cherry tomatoes, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce in a blender. Cover and puree until smooth. Pour pureed mixture through a strainer into the tomato-cucumber mixture; stir to combine.
Step 3 Place 1/3 of the tomato mixture into the blender. Cover, turn blender on, and puree until smooth. Return pureed mixture to the remaining tomato-cucumber mixture. Stir to combine. Cover and chill in refrigerator for 2 hours.
Step 4 Season cold soup with salt and black pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with basil.
1.Chef John’s Gazpacho. (2012, May 10). Allrecipes. https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/222331/chef-johns-gazpacho/
2.Healing Tomato. (2021, November 5). History Of Tomatoes - History of Tomatoes - Healing Tomato. Easy Vegetarian Meals & Vegan Recipes - Healing Tomato. https://www.healingtomato.com/history-of-tomatoes/