Early fall tomatoes can be a special treat, as they bring with them the sharp smell and sweet taste of late summer. They also bring a nice serving of vitamins and antioxidants. Read on to learn more about the tempting tomato -- then try our even more tempting recipe for Sinfully Delicious Tomato Garlic Pasta, below.
Tomato: fruit, not vegetable
In the 1890s, the Supreme Court deemed the tomato a vegetable for tax purposes, but botanically the tomato is a fruit -- it grows from the base of the plant's flower and houses the seeds of the plant.
Why (some) tomatoes are red
Tomatoes get their reddish hue from a chemical called lycopene, an antioxidant that may protect cells from cancer-causing free radicals.
One medium-sized tomato contains about 25 calories and 3 grams of natural sugar, and is a good source of vitamins C and A.
Best tomato storage
Think twice before storing unripened tomatoes in the refrigerator. Doing so halts ripening and dramatically reduces the flavor. Keep them at room temperature instead.
Are tomatoes toxic?
Early American settlers believed tomatoes were poisonous because of their resemblance to the deadly nightshade plant.
Biggest tomato ever
The world's largest tomato was 7 pounds, 12 ounces, grown in Oklahoma in 1986.
Sinfully Delicious Tomato Garlic Pasta
Makes six servings
3 pounds Roma tomatoes, quartered
¼ cup olive oil
1–2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
½ teaspoon salt
10 cloves garlic
8 ounces whole wheat angel hair pasta (dry)
½ cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoon reduced-fat grated Parmesan
Preheat oven to 400˚. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, olive oil, Tabasco sauce, and salt.
Using a garlic press, press the cloves of garlic into the bowl. Mix well to combine with the tomatoes.
Transfer tomato mixture to a glass baking dish. Place it on the middle shelf of the oven and roast for 45 minutes.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and mix with tomatoes and chopped basil. Garnish with Parmesan.
264 calories, 10 g fat,
2 g saturated fat,
1 mg cholesterol, 235 mg sodium, 39 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 8 g protein. Calories from fat: 34%.
Find more recipes for cooking with tomatoes at WebMD.com