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Tomatoes

The lycopene in tomatoes prevents serum lipid oxidation, thus exerting a protective effect against heart disease. The regular consumption of tomatoes has been proven to decrease the levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood—these lipids are the key culprits in cardiovascular diseases and lead to depositing of fats in the blood vessels. Tomatoes have also been shown to lower the risk of stroke. Look for the Bonac Farms' stand at your local Farmers' Market for a wide variety of tomatoes.


Cool as a Tomato Soup Cool as a Tomato Soup

(serves 2)

Ingredients
1 1/2 lb. ripe tomatoes
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 avocado, diced
3 teaspoons chives, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Method
Fill a large bowl with ice water. Then fill a large pot with water and put it on high heat. While waiting, core each tomato and cut a small "x" in the skin on the bottom. Blanch 2 or 3 tomatoes for 15 to 20 seconds, or until the skins start to peel. Immediately transfer to the bowl of iced water. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes. Use a parting knife to peel and chop them, squeezing out the seeds. In a blender or a food processor, purée the garlic clove and the chopped tomatoes. Add the broth, cumin, salt, pepper, and lime juice, puréeing until smooth. Pour into a metal bowl, set in a bowl of iced water, and stir occasionally until very cold. Adjust the flavor to your preference using the salt, pepper, and lime juice. Divide the avocado and the chives between two chilled bowls, top with the soup, and serve.


Summer Salsa Summer Salsa

(makes about 6 cups)

Ingredients
4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped (about 4 cups)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped, or 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

Method
Fill a large bowl with ice water. Then fill a large pot with water and put it on high heat. While waiting, core each tomato and cut a small "x" in the skin on the bottom. Blanch 2 or 3 tomatoes for 15 to 20 seconds, or until the Combine tomatoes, onion, peppers, garlic, cilantro, tomato sauce, vinegar, and cumin in a mixing bowl. Stir to mix. Let stand 1 hour before serving.

*Salsa will keep in the refrigerator about 2 weeks. It also freezes well. For a hotter salsa, increase the jalapeños or red pepper flakes.

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