Despite the weather cooling off and the leaves beginning to change, I know a lot of home gardeners who are still picking tomatoes. Nothing beats the flavor of a ripe tomato right off the vine. To preserve that freshly picked flavor it’s best NOT to put tomatoes in the refrigerator. Keeping tomatoes on the counter top versus cooling them will yield the best flavor.
Freshly picked tomatoes would be perfect in a popular Green Mountain at Fox Run recipe, our Garbanzo, Tomato & Feta Salad. This recipe calls for grape or cherry tomatoes, but you could easily swap those out for any type of fresh tomatoes you have. Using a combination of red and yellow pear tomatoes could make this salad a vision to behold.
Another option for selecting high-quality ingredients for this recipe would be cooking the garbanzos from the dried state versus using canned beans. Not only will this keep the sodium content lower, but it will also help to avoid exposure to plastics that may have migrated from the lining of the can to the beans. Plastics, such as BPA, can function as endocrine disruptors in the body, so the less your exposure, the better. That said, I know how convenient it is to have canned beans at the ready. For that reason, I batch cook legumes and keep them frozen. This makes them almost as convenient as canned but healthier without the added salt or plastics.
Lastly, another key ingredient in this recipe is fresh herbs. Using fresh parsley and thyme for this recipe would your best bet. Although dried parsley is an option, it’s flavorless compared to the fresh. If you don’t have access to fresh thyme, perhaps adding some fresh chives would be a nice substitution. Chives are one of those great home-garden herbs that keep giving every year without replanting or much up-keep.
I hope you enjoy this salad as a final good-bye to summer and all the fabulous fresh produce we have access to during this time of year. Enjoy.