September is the best month for farming here in western Montana. We are at the tail end of fruits and melons, cucumbers and summer squash are still going strong, and winter squash is coming into the markets as well. And tomatoes!! Oh the tomatoes… For our September Salad of the Month we are featuring Farm Hand Farm (@farmhandfarm on instagram and facebook), an small urban farm located in Missoula. Adelaide and her partner John (along with their two dogs, cat, and chickens) grow flowers, medicinal + edible herbs, tomatoes, peppers, and assorted veggies, plus plant starts in spring and skin salves in winter
As a kid I never liked tomatoes. They were bland and mealy and I just couldn’t understand why anyone would enjoy that. But then I had an heirloom tomato. To say it was life changing was an understatement!! Heirloom tomatoes come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Teeny tiny sungolds are like candy in the garden and very rarely make it inside the house. Green Zebras are green and yellow when ripe making for an burst of unexpected color in any dish.
Not only are tomatoes super tasty, the pack a punch when it comes to their health boosting properties. Tomatoes contain all four major carotenoids: alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene. According to a study from Ohio State University, when tomatoes are eaten along with healthier fats, like avocado or olive oil, the body's absorption of the carotenoid phytochemicals in tomatoes can increase by two to 15 times!
Olive or Avocado Oil
Salt + Pepper
Cut up your tomatoes, dress with the oil of your choice, season to taste with S+P. That’s it. Keep it simple and enjoy the flavors of summer.
Wanting something a bit more?
Caprese Salad A classic with sliced tomatoes layered between slices of mozzarella and basil, dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Greek Style Salad Add in chopped cucumber, red onion, capers, olives, roasted red bell peppers, and some feta cheese.
Creamy Cucumber Salad Sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onions dressed with sour cream or Greek yogurt and fresh herbs. Season to taste with S+P
Watermelon! Watermelon, tomato, basil, oil, and S+P. Add some feta if you’re feeling fancy. Yeah, this would like a weird combo, but it’s sooooo good!!
Chickpea and Avocado Roast or fry chickpeas with cumin, turmeric, paprika, and S+P. Toss with chopped tomatoes and cubed avocado. Dress with oil and fresh chopped herbs.
However you choose to enjoy your tomatoes, always pick locally grown for the freshest and most flavorful selection!!