Fresh, local tomatoes in March? We know what you’re thinking — there’s no way. But at NatureFresh™ Farms, located in northwest Ohio, tomatoes are in season all year long. Using state-of-the-art technology in their 45-acre greenhouse, they are able to produce a wide variety of OhioRed™ tomatoes that are available to purchase at Heinen’s just 24 hours after being plucked from the vine. That quick turn-around means that your tomatoes are as fresh as it gets and packed with flavor — even when sunshine is in short supply. Furthermore, the tomatoes may look red but they’re as green as it gets: OhioRed™ tomatoes are greenhouse grown, GMO-free and have a reduced-carbon footprint since they don’t travel very far.
The varieties available include Beefsteak, heirloom, Roma, TOMZ small snacking tomatoes, and more. And while they’re great on the usual sandwiches, salads and BLTs, we’ve got a few different ways to give them a try.
Start to finish: 30 minutes
- 5-6 OhioRed™ Tomatoes on the Vine, medium, chopped
- 1/2 pint of red Cherry Tomatoes, medium, chopped
- 3/4 cup red Bell Peppers, seeded, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup green Bell Peppers, seeded, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup English Cucumber, finely chopped
- 4 3/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. of beef bouillon
- 1/2 cup of fresh basil, finely minced
- 1/2 cup of fresh oregano, finely minced
- 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. of hot sauce
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Blend 5-6 OhioRed™ Tomatoes on the Vine in a blender reaching juice consistency.
- Puree the Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, red and green Bell Peppers, red onion, and garlic in a blender for about 30-45 seconds.
- Add the tomato juice (blended Tomatoes on the Vine), beef bouillon, hot sauce, fresh oregano, basil, Worcestershire sauce, and red wine vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pulse a few times to mix.
- This dish can be served in a bowl, or in a 2 inch piece of cucumber hollowed out like a cup for an added culinary flare.
Chef’s Tip: Don’t be scared to garnish with strips of peppers, or more freshly chopped vegetables. Adjust the amount of hot sauce based on your preference.
Tomato Spinach Stuffed Chicken
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Hands on time: 10 minutes
- 4-5 oz. chicken breast
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 cup red beefsteak tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 garlic clove, diced
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- Sea salt & pepper to taste
- In a preheated sauté pan add olive oil, tomatoes, and garlic, cook for a few minutes then add spinach and cheese (until wilted). Mix well, remove from pan, and set aside.
- With the chicken breast lying flat on a cutting board, cut 3 horizontal slits into the breast about halfway down. Transfer to a baking sheet and fill the slits with the spinach mixture. Make sure all the slits have been filled. Cover with foil and place in a preheated 350° oven for about 15 minutes. Remove foil and add remaining mixture on top, returning to oven for another 10 minutes or until internal temperature is 165°.
- Once chicken is cooked, transfer to serving tray and serve with your favorite veggies.
Chef’s Tip: This tomato and spinach mixture also pairs really well with salmon.
Recipes courtesy of NatureFresh™ Farms.