The fruit and vegetables in our local stores are very ordinary so it was a lovely surprise to visit a store a bit further afield and discover a huge selection. I bought a few items I wouldn't normally see when I'm out shopping. I believe that this store is quite special for its range.
The selection of tomatoes was huge! They even sold Heirloom tomatoes, I've only ever seen those in pictures before. No, I haven't led a sheltered life, I just live in the North of England!
Tomatoes, are they good for you or not? A member of the nightshade family, some say tomatoes contain solanine, a chemical and naturally occurring poison produced by the plant to protect it from bacteria. However, following many years of research, Dr Mendel Friedman believes that they contain tomatine a different alkaloid. So if you don't do well on nightshades maybe you should give them a miss but they do contain a huge amount of healthy nutrients.
So what are the health benefits of tomatoes? They are a very good source of :
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin E
3 large yellow tomatoes
3 large red tomatoes
handful of fresh basil leaves
3 tblsps pine nuts
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Gently heat a frying pan and pour the pine nuts in. Turn the heat up to a medium heat and toast the pine nuts. This only takes about a minute.
Tip into a bowl and leave on one side to cool.
Thinly slice the tomatoes.
Remove the hard core.
Wash the basil leaves and dry on some kitchen towel or a cloth.
Tear them into pieces. Put a layer of tomatoes in the bottom of a bowl and sprinkle with some of the torn leaves.
After a couple of layers season with a little black pepper and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. I only used about one and a half tablespoons in the whole salad but you can decide how much you like. Continue to layer the fruit and leaves adding the basil, pepper and oil until you have used all your tomato slices.
Add some more freshly ground black pepper over the top
and a little more oil. Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts over the top.
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