In the last issue I talked about the properties and benefits of tomato, its importance in preventing some types of cancers and its great power in being versatile, matches with almost everything! I confess that the sauce is my favorite, it allows to store for a long time only in the refrigerator and use in various recipes.
But today, the goal when talking about tomatoes, is to show them how to grow them at home. Yes, like every plant, it requires a little care and attention, but the result is wonderful.
Different than many people think, Tomato is not a vegetable. It is, in fact, a fruit generated from the fertilization of the tomato flower (Lycopersicon esculentum). When planting, if you choose to buy the seedlings, make sure that the roots are white, that the plant has no flower and nor more than 10 cm in height. It is also good that it has very green leaves, never yellowish, and young and healthy looking. As there are several species, one can opt for the seed, bought in specialized stores. You can plant directly in the prepared pot, or germinate in polystyrene trays first, then replant.
If you have a tomato at home and want to use it to start planting, it also gives. Cut the tomato, remove the pulp and place in a glass jar, put some water and cover with a punctured plastic. Leave it for 3 days, in a warm place to ferment. After that time, put the contents in a sieve, wash well and separate the seeds into a paper towel. Let it dry well to avoid creating fungi and plant. Just like the seeds bought, it can be planted directly in the soil or in polystyrene trays to germinate until it is replanted in definitive pot.
Tomatoes can be planted in the garden or vegetable garden, in a deep pit, or even in pots. In the latter case, the vase needs to be wide enough to accommodate, in a spacious manner, the roots of the tomato. Tomatoes usually grow and produce better under high light conditions, with direct sunlight at least a few hours a day. Irrigate in order to keep the soil always moist but not soaked.
As its characteristic is “to fall”, by having the soft stem, one can from time to time put rods to raise and keep it standing or else, put the pot on a shelf and leave the tomato as if it were a vine . The time of harvesting of the tomatoes, varies according to the species and the amount planted, but do not worry and keep an eye.
We live in times of maximum reuse and use of pesticides rampant, I believe that to waste a little time looking for the best to put on the table, is a great gain for our health, think about it.
And since we’ll have tomatoes, how about stuffing them? Today’s recipe is Tomatoes Stuffed and Gratin.
4 whole tomatoes
1 large onion
250g ground beef
200g cheese of your choice (I like fresh mozzarella or canasta cheese)
2 garlic cloves
Salt and olive oil to taste
Method of preparation:
Cut the “lid” of the tomato (+/- 2mm), remove the pulp from the tomato to make the tomato hollow, reserve. Remove the seed from the pulp and leave the “fleshy” part (Enjoy to dry the seeds!) And set aside.
Sauté the meat in olive oil, add the chopped garlic and sauté well. Put some of the pulp of the tomato so that the meat is moist, but not with sauce, season according to your taste. Cut the onions into slices and caramelize in olive oil only.
Take the hollowed tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil, put on the bottom of each a little caramelized onion, over ground meat until close to the edge. Grate the cheese or cut into small pieces, place on the meat and bake for 25 min at 200 ° to soften the tomato and gratinar the cheese.
Serve hot, preferably with a green salad.
Enjoy your food!
Written matter for the newspaper A Cidade Ubatuba – ed. 04/08/2018