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Tomato Facts and Recipes


Season: Summer (July – September)

Selection: Skin should appear deep, bright red (except heirloom tomatoes have different colors), without blemishes or bruises or discoloration. Feel: dense, firm, but not too hard; and without any soft spots. Smell: should have a strong, sweet, earthy odor by the stem.

Storage and Handling: Store tomatoes stem end up to preserve quality. Ripe tomatoes should be stored at 55-65 degrees F and should not be refrigerated.

Preparation: One should always wash them, and discard the leaves and stems which are toxic, before eating raw or cooking. Depending on the presentation of the dish, tomatoes can be sliced, diced or pureed with or without skin. They can be stewed, stuffed, baked, broiled, pureed, pickled, deviled, glazed, grilled or fried.

Serving Suggestions: Tomatoes are one of the main ingredients for lots of salads, Italian cuisine, sauces, and paste of pizzas. The sweet kinds can be eaten raw like fruit, or served as fruit juice. Tomatoes can also be dried, canned and frozen for later use.

Nutrients: Tomatoes contain natural antioxidants, carotene, lycopene, vitamin A and C, potassium and fiber.

Fun facts: Botanically tomato is a fruit, but as it is used as an ingredient in so many dishes, sauces, and in drinks, it is considered a vegetable for culinary purpose. In 1887 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that tomato is a vegetable. It is the state fruit of New Jersey, but the state vegetable of Ohio, and both the state fruit and vegetable of Arkansas. China and USA are the two countries that produce the most tomatoes in the world. The largest tomato ever reported was 7 lb. 12 oz.


Tomatoes and eggs (with or without chicken)

2 lb tomatoes (3 or 4)

3 eggs, salt and sugar to taste

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 teaspoon (s) oil

¾ cup water.


  1. Wash tomatoes thoroughly, cut into thin slices.
  2. Beat eggs till smooth. Dissolve cornstarch in ¼ c of water.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon oil in a medium non-stick pan over medium heat. Fry eggs mixture and remove immediately once it is done.
  4. Cut fried eggs into strips. Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the pan over medium heat, pinch of salt; then tomatoes with ½ of water and add sugar to taste.
  5. Cook till tomatoes are soft but not mushy. Add cornstarch mixture and keep stirring till thickens. Then turn off heat and add the egg strips.
  6. Ready to serve with rice. If preferred, add ½ cup of cooked chicken meat with egg strips.

Corn and Tomato Sauté

2 teaspoon(s) canola oil

1 cup(s) fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)

1/2 cup(s) diced shallots

1 pound(s) tomatoes, diced

1 tablespoon(s) chopped fresh tarragon, or basil

1/4 teaspoon(s) salt


  1. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add corn & shallots. Cook with stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, tarragon (or basil), and salt.

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes

4 tomatoes, halved horizontally

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 450° F
  2. Place tomatoes cut-side up on a baking sheet.
  3. Top with Parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle with oil and bake until the tomatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

UD Cooperative Extension

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