- Author: Katie (Cathryn) R Johnson
In July many areas of the Central Sierra can expect to see tomatoes beginning to appear in local markets or ripening in gardens. This much-awaited crop is one of the best foods to enjoy in season, when its flavor is truly at its peak. Tomatoes need warm weather and plenty of time to ripen fruit, but cherry tomatoes are often one of the earliest types of tomatoes to begin ripening. Look for tomatoes in all different sizes and colors this summer to enjoy a range of different textures, tastes, and nutrients. A good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A, tomatoes also provide dietary fiber and other trace nutrients. Red tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that is better absorbed by our bodies when tomatoes are cooked. Whether eaten fresh or cooked into dishes, tomatoes pair well with many different herbs, including basil, cilantro and thyme, and with most other foods that grow alongside tomatoes in the garden. See below for fresh tomato recipe ideas to try this July, or learn more about tomatoes and view their nutrition facts at Harvest of the Month.