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Tantalizing Tomato Tidbits Still Promoted?

Feb 24, 2012 02:27AM ● By Brian O

Great appetizers make a night.

Appetizers to get the party started

Great appetizers are full of flavor to stimulate the appetite, but not so rich that they spoil it. To get that balance, look to fresh, flavorful ingredients like Florida tomatoes.

Ripe tomatoes add beautiful color, great taste, and a host of healthy nutrients - like vitamin C - to any appetizer. Chef Justin Timineri, known as the Florida Chef, and Florida Tomatoes have created some mouthwatering appetizer recipes using the versatile, tantalizing tomato.

-Tomato Cobb Salad Wrap - Turn a favorite salad into a tasty finger food by wrapping up Cobb salad ingredients in a flour tortilla. 

-Tomato and Avocado Salsa - Whether you make it mild or spice it up, this salsa will make a lot of mouths happy. Try serving it in individual, wide mouthed glasses so guests can dip and re-dip as much as they like.

-Hot Artichoke Dip Stuffed Tomatoes - A savory party favorite, this dip gets extra flavor by being paired up with juicy baked tomatoes.

-Bruschetta with Tomatoes, Blue Cheese and Pecans - Sweet, savory, crunchy, salty - this appetizer has it all.

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Don't Refrigerate

For the best tomato flavor, never refrigerate them. A chilled tomato will not finish ripening because cold halts the ripening process. Cold also kills the flavor of tomatoes, so even when the tomatoes are fully ripe, keep them out of the refrigerator.

How Much?
1 medium tomato, seeded = approximately 3/4 cup chopped.
1 large tomato, seeded = 1 cup chopped.
1 pound of tomatoes = approximately 2 1/2 cups chopped, or 2 cups puréed.

Tomato and Avocado Salsa
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
2 large Florida tomatoes, diced
1 large avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon powdered cumin
Your favorite hot sauce (for heat)
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
to taste
In medium mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir to combine.
Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and hot sauce.
Serve at room temperature for best flavor.
For hotter version, substitute 1 seeded fresh jalapeño pepper for green pepper. Also, if you prefer, use toasted cumin seed instead of ground cumin.