Deck the Halls with Cherry Tomatoes

Share this post

tomato_sun_gold_cherryAmong the hearth-warming treasures in our TakeHome boxes this week are bright-as-holiday-lights cherry tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme). “Tomatoes in December!” you may exclaim. Why, yes Virginia, this is one of the benefits of urban California living, along with the lack of engine block warmers, ice scrapers, sound of 5 a.m. salt spreaders, or snow days. And you do get field-fresh late-season tomatoes.

When we called on farmer John Givens to ask how can this be, a tomato crop in December, he replied to city kids naíïveté with a farmer's pragmatic answer: “We plant them where it doesn't freeze.” Oh, why of course, that would be Goleta, CA (Santa Barbara County). Planted August 15, the crop survival depends on having no rain in November. How John could predict that it wouldn't rain this November must be between him and his secret Santa. John Givens is Santa Barbara farmer's market royalty, he started organic farming 30 years ago on one acre and now his Something Good Farm is a patchwork of 180 organic acres.

A little tomato blast in winter is a great benefit to your holiday-besieged cells. Tomatoes have 23 mg Vitamin C per cup, and about one calorie per tomato. The free radical fighting antioxidant lycopene is tomato's gift to you, Lycopene is a bright red carotenoid pigment and phytochemical found chiefly in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables. Cooking tomatoes concentrates the lycopene.

Cherry tomatoes are classic in salad or skewered on toothpicks with olives, or stuffed with cheese. They cook quickly and break down quickly for fresh tomato sauce. You may end up snacking on the cherry toms before they even get to the cooking stage; cherry toms after all are nature’s candy—and December’s Christmas candy.

- Heidi Lewis


Subscribe to the WEEKLY BITE

* indicates required


Recent Food articles:

History of the tomato
April 18, 2019
How to prepare Ataulfo mango
April 4, 2019
Making the most of citrus season
February 14, 2019
Three hearty soup recipes you can enjoy all month
February 4, 2019
Tempting winter fruits to brighten your weekly mix
January 31, 2019
Easy meal prep recipes you can eat all week
January 7, 2019
How to make latkes and applesauce
December 6, 2018
The food history of Thanksgiving
November 22, 2018
Winter and summer oranges
August 23, 2018
How to make vegetarian sushi at home
August 7, 2018

More recent articles:

Quick, easy steps to spruce up your office space
May 14, 2019
Grilled portobello recipe
May 9, 2019
How to prepare physically and mentally for race day
May 9, 2019
Three simple ways to enjoy watermelon radishes
May 2, 2019
Beehives, swales, and vermicomposting, oh my!
April 29, 2019
Easy spring salad recipe
April 25, 2019
Reduce plastic use with these earth-friendly alternatives
April 22, 2019
Spring fruit varieties and how to enjoy them
April 16, 2019
How to make sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet
April 11, 2019
How fostering psychological safety increases performance
April 8, 2019

About Us

Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.