In praise of tomatoes!

04/03/2014 10:00 AM

04/02/2014 1:13 PM

It typically takes several attempts to unscrew the lid off that jar of salsa in your pantry. Could this be nature’s way of telling you something? Fresh is always best, and buying fruits and veggies while they’re in season is even better. Since April is National Florida Tomato Month, it’s the ideal time to put these tasty little orbs to work. Chef José Andrés, the unstoppable force behind The Bazaar at South Beach’s SLS, shared with us a great way to use perfectly ripe tomatoes—his recipe for pebre, a traditional Chilean salsa designed to top off meat, tacos and omelettes.

Luckily, Miami is home to myriad farmer’s markets where organic, sustainably grown tomatoes are available right now. The best markets offer tomatoes from farms right in Homestead—including Teena’s Pride, Health and Happiness Farms and Pine Island Farms—and have tomatoes available throughout April. Further north, at Legion Park, the Upper Eastside Farmers’ Market offers tomatoes that are picked off the vine just a few blocks away. The tomatoes here come from the Little River Market Garden and Plant Matter, both in Little Haiti, and benefit from the short distance from farm to market stand. One piece of advice: tomatoes continue to ripen after picking, so a touch of green at the top can be a sign that the best flavor is yet to come.

José Andrés’ pebre

Makes about 5 cups

This refreshing Chilean-style salsa is a perfect topper for the omelette of your choice.

4 cups tomatoes, peeled and diced small 1 cup red onion, diced small 1/2 Serrano pepper, cored, seeded and finely diced 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar 1/4 cup olive oil 1 tablespoon salt

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and marinate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors incorporate.

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