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You say tomato, I say tomatoe

In early 2004, half a million tomato seeds were launched to the International Space Station on a Russian rocket as part of the Tomatosphere Project.

In early 2004, half a million tomato seeds were launched to the International Space Station on a Russian rocket as part of the Tomatosphere Project. University of Guelph researchers then studied the effects of space travel on seed germination to understand how to grow food for extended space missions as a voyage to Mars.

This space-aged food was first cultivated in the year 700 by Aztecs and Incas.

They are the world's most popular fruit although most of us consider them vegetables.

Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, plus Vitamin C and potassium. One medium tomato has 25 calories.

Foodland Ontario suggests tomatoes should not be refrigerated because cold destroys their texture and natural sweetness. The best way to eat ripe tomatoes is raw but here are some recipes that feature their good taste.

Scalloped Tomatoes

This appetizing casserole has layers of sliced tomatoes, seasoned ricotta and herbs and is topped with crispy buttered bread crumbs.

It's great as a side dish or a vegetarian main course. Serves six.

3 lb (1.5 kg) tomatoes (about 6)
1/4 tsp (1 mL) garlic powder
Salt and pepper
1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) all-purpose flour
1 container (475 g) ricotta cheese
3/4 cup (175 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
2 egg yolks
1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) dried oregano
3 tbsp (45 mL) finely chopped fresh basil
1 cup (250 mL) fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter, melted

Slice tomatoes 1/4 inch (5 mm) thick; lay on paper towel to drain some of the juice. Line bottom of lightly greased nine-inch (23 cm) square baking pan with single layer of tomatoes, cutting smaller slices to fill in spaces. Sprinkle with one-third of the garlic powder; season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp (2 mL) of the flour.

In medium bowl, mix together ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, egg yolks and oregano; spread about 3/4 cup (175 mL) over tomatoes. Top with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the basil. Repeat layers twice. Finish with layer of tomatoes on top; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In medium bowl, mix together bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over tomatoes. Bake in 375 F (190 C) oven for 45 to 50 minutes or until crumbs are golden and tomatoes are tender when tested with sharp knife. Let rest on wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.

This recipe is a good source of fibre. One serving has 290 calories.


The Spanish call Gazpacho "salad." However, we know it as a light, cold soup perfect for hot summer days.Serves eight.

3 large tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 medium sweet onion, minced
3 cups vegetable cocktail juice
1 (14 1/2-oz) can beef or chicken broth
1 cup prepared tomato salsa
5 tablespoon wine vinegar
1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil (added for flavor, but can be omitted)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried dill weed, crushed
1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
Garnishes (see below)

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, onion, vegetable cocktail juice, beef or chicken broth, tomato salsa, wine vinegar, and olive oil. Add Worcestershire sauce, dill weed, basil, salt, hot pepper sauce, and garlic; stir until blended.

Refrigerate at least four hours or overnight before serving. Serve in chilled soup bowls.

Garnishes: Try Sour cream, avocado chunks and tortilla chips.