America is a country that loves its tomatoes. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, not only do we produce around $2 billion worth of tomatoes per year, making us the second largest tomato producing country in the world, but tomatoes are also the 4th most popularly eaten produced vegetable in the country (although technically it’s a fruit). There are a lot of health and taste reasons to use tomatoes; it’s just a matter of knowing which ones to use, and when.
“Tomatoes are the first major garden item to ripen,” explains Chef Scott Jenkins, the chef of Arlington-based Extra Virgin restaurant. “Tomatoes are so versatile and flavorful, the possibilities seem endless. It is truly the work horse of an Italian kitchen, from soups and salads to sauces and main entree features.”