It’s Florida Tomato Time!
By Paula Detwiller
Did you know that fresh, ripe, juicy tomatoes are harvested from every growing district in Florida at this time of year, and shipped across the U.S.? That’s why April is National Florida Tomato Month, in recognition of our state’s large, high-quality crop.
More than 50 varieties of tomatoes are grown here, many with pretty names that broadcast their origin: Floragold, Florida Petite, Floramerica. You’ll find a wide selection of tomatoes each Saturday at the Delray GreenMarket from the growers at Green Cay Farms, Sanchez Farms, Thomas Produce, and our newest produce vendor, Alderman Farms.
With a 300-acre organic farm located in Loxahatchee, Alderman Farms grows four types of organic tomatoes: Grape, Cherry, Round, and Roma. In fact, they’ve been producing organic as well as conventionally farmed vegetables in Florida for more than 30 years—and they are rightfully proud of their “Certified Organic” label from Quality Certification Services.
Whether organic or conventionally grown, tomatoes are used in a variety of cooked dishes, from Spanish gazpacho to Italian marinara sauce to Indian curries. But as any Floridian knows, they’re also just perfect “au naturel.” Here’s a quick, nutritious way to enjoy them, courtesy of Florida Tomato.
Tomato and Bulgur Salad
(yield: 4 cups)
2 medium fresh Florida tomatoes
½ cup bulgur (uncooked)
1 cup chopped mild onion
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup homemade or prepared Italian salad dressing
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
½ teaspoon salt
1 to 2 teaspoon ground coriander (optional)
Use tomatoes held at room temperature until fully ripe. Core tomatoes; cut in 1-inch chunks; set aside. In medium heat-proof bowl, combine bulgur with 1 cup boiling water. Let stand until bulgur is softened (about 15 minutes). Drain off any remaining water; return bulgur to bowl. Stir in onion, parsley, dressing, garlic, salt, coriander and pepper. Toss to mix. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.