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This week’s Vegetable Box Feature: Grape Tomatoes, a fruit often called a vegetable

Did you know?

  • They have a sweet flavor, a firm texture, and less juice, than cherry tomatoes, so there’s no need to worry about any squirting when you bite into one.
  • Grape tomatoes contain fiber, Vitamin A & C, potassium antioxidants, and lycopene
  • Grape tomatoes are a labor-intensive crop to grow. Because of their size, it takes more time to pick them. Just like grapes in a vineyard, they form in clusters on a tomato vine, but need to be picked individually.
  • When grape tomatoes first hit the market in the late nineties, they were a novelty available only in specialty food stores. But it didn’t take long for people to fall in love with these tiny, tasty treats.

Fun Fact

  • Originally tomatoes were considered poisonous by Europeans. It was thought if you ate a tomato, its poison would turn your blood to acid. Aren’t we glad that turned out to be just a myth?

Where to Store it?
Grape tomatoes are best when stored at room temperature out of direct sunlight or in the refrigerator crisper in a plastic clamshell or paper bag. If tomatoes are refrigerated, remove them from refrigeration about 30 minutes prior to serving to regain some of their original flavor.

Preparation
Rinse tomatoes before slicing or eating them. Grape tomatoes can be rinsed in a colander with cool running water or washed individually. Depending on your recipe chop or leave whole.


How to Use:
Grape tomatoes can be enjoyed raw or cooked. Try adding them to salads, dipping in dip, roasting or adding to pasta dishes.


Recipes:


Easy Salsa
Created by: Sweet Rustic Bakes

This Salsa is deliciously addicting and ready in 5 minutes. Fresh like pico, juicy like salsa! Great with chips or on top of fish, chicken or hamburgers!

Ingredients:

  •    10 ounces of grape tomatoes
  •     ½ red onion, peeled and chopped into 4 chunks
  •     1 jalapeno (stem removed, de-seeded if you want less spice)
  •     1 garlic clove
  •     Juice of one lime
  •     1 small handful of fresh cilantro (some stems ok)
  •     ½ teaspoon salt
  •     ¼ teaspoon black pepper


Instructions:
1. Place all ingredients in a food processor in the order listed.

2. Using the "pulse" button on your food processor, pulse the ingredients off an on until you obtain small even pieces. Do not puree the mix. I pulsed about 5 times, 1 second each.

3. Place in serving dish or glass container with lid to store. Store in fridge for up to 3 days.

Oven Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes

Created By: “Plain Chicken”: Stephanie

I don’t know about you, but I am always looking for quick and easy side dishes. This recipe for Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes is both quick and easy! It is also really delicious. It literally takes one minute to toss together and it is ready to eat in 15 minutes! LOVE!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 4½ tsp olive oil
  • 1½ tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • 1 TBSP grated parmesan

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.

2. Toss all ingredients. Spread out in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.

3. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve with additional parmesan cheese, if desired.

 

Easy Baked Feta Pasta

Created by: Bella

This baked feta pasta is sure to impress the whole family.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pints grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 8oz feta cheese block
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic minced
  • 8oz pasta
  • 8 basil leaves fresh
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes optional


Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Place the grape tomatoes in a casserole dish or 9×13-inch cake pan.

3. Put the feta cheese in the middle and sprinkle the oregano, salt, and pepper over the cheese.

4. Pour the olive oil over the tomatoes and cheese and toss the tomatoes to coat.

5. Place in the oven for 40 minutes.

6. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Save a little bit of the pasta water for the recipe.

7. Remove and mash the melted cheese and tomatoes and add the minced garlic, stir to combine.

8. If the sauce is thick, add a couple tablespoons of pasta water to thin it out.

9. Sprinkle the basil and parsley over the cheese and add the pasta.

10. Stir to combine and sprinkle with red pepper flakes (if desired).


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