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Mini tomato salad with a burst of color

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Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 11:50 am

I was introduced to big yummy tomatoes when I was a little girl. We lived in the first house finished in the Stockton sub-division Pacific Gardens. The soon to be constructed block across from our house was still tomato field.

I remember sitting on the front porch with my father watching the jack rabbits hop across the large clumps of ground, scurrying between sticky green vines hosting big red tomatoes. After the summer harvest, any tomatoes remaining on the vine, my father would pick a few and give them to my mother. She washed, sliced, and served the tomatoes sprinkled with salt and pepper.

Today, however, those big juicy tomatoes have a tasty competitor — the mini-tomato. There are several names for mini-tomatoes, the most popular, cherry, plum and grape varieties.

Cherry tomatoes are the smallest, most round in shape and either red or yellow in color; however, some cherry varieties can be as large as an inch in size and still be considered mini-tomatoes. Their sweet flavor is delicious and perfect eaten a-la-natural for a sweet healthy snack.

Plum tomatoes are similar to the Roma tomato in their pear shape, but smaller in size. Plums have less seed compartments and are more solid. Plums are the chef’s choice for sauces or paste tomato dishes.

The grape tomato is a thick skinned, sweet tasting mini-tomato. Oval in shape like the plum tomato, it also has the sweetness of a cherry tomato.

Most mini-tomato varieties are available in the grocery store produce section, generally packaged in small plastic see through cartons. Try them all.

In my Burst of Color Mini-Tomato Salad, tomatoes and other summer vegetable flavors meld with a honey lime dressing for a quick, simple refreshing salad.

Burst of color mini-tomato salad

1 carton of mini-tomatoes — halved

1 avocado — diced

Kernels from 2 ears of fresh corn or one 15-ounce can kennel corn

Mix tomatoes, avocado and corn, then dress with honey lime dressing.

Honey lime dressing

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Salt and pepper to taste.

Bernadine Chapman-Cruz is a contributing writer for Big Monkey Group Publications. Raised in Stockton, she lives in Lodi with her husband, a cat named "L" and dog, "Forest." She enjoys writing, cooking and dining out.

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