Tomatoes are an excellent source of antioxidants including vitamins A and C, lutein, and lycopene.
Vitamin C, which is found in abundance in tomatoes, has been studied for its cancer inhibitory and therapeutic properties for decades and is currently under investigation as a potential weapon in the battle against COVID-19. Vitamin C is also thought to help fend off the common cold.
August is the time when backyard tomato vines really start producing, so this month we’re exploring this delicious and healthy crop.
The recipe below was sent to CCSA as part of a series of emails from our resident chef, Dr. Linda Doody. She has been sharing her extensive collection of favorite recipes with friends, family, and the CCSA team as a means of maintaining connection during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nothing brings people together like good food
Linda A. Doody, PhD, DABT, Executive Director, led CCSA’s regulatory affairs and safety reporting activities in support of commercial, government, and nonprofit drug development from 1995 to 2018, when she moved to a senior advisory role. Dr. Doody is certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology (DABT) and holds a PhD in pharmacology and toxicology.
Spotlight on Tomatoes: Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Greek Olives, and Feta
- 1½ pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded (to peel, blanch whole tomatoes by placing them in boiling water with a slotted spoon. Leave in the water for about 15 to 25 seconds [no more than 60 seconds]; the goal is to loosen the skins without cooking the tomatoes. Transfer the tomatoes to a large bowl of ice water. When cool, the peel should slip off easily. To seed the tomatoes, cut them in half crosswise and scoop the seeds out with a small measuring spoon or your fingers. This can be done over a sieve set in a bowl to catch any extra juices, which can be saved for another recipe)
- 24 black olives, preferably Kalamata, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 3 Tbsp capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
- 1 pound dried spaghetti
- ~40 small fresh basil leaves
- 6 ounces Greek or Bulgarian feta cheese (preferably French feta made with sheep’s milk [e.g., Valbreso brand]. It is not as salty and has a creamy consistency)
- Slice tomato halves very thinly. If tomatoes are large, cut the halves in half before slicing so slices aren’t too long (you can just chop them coarsely).
- In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, hot red pepper flakes, olive oil, white wine vinegar, and a generous pinch of salt. Stir gently to blend.
- Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Just before pasta is ready, tear basil leaves into small pieces, add to tomato mixture, and stir. Drain pasta and add to bowl. Toss well. Grate the feta directly into the bowl and toss again to form a creamy sauce. Serve immediately.
Note from Dr. Doody:
I look forward all year to making this dish with summer’s fully ripe heirloom tomatoes from the backyard or the farmer’s market.