Today I am going to talk a bit about what to do with yellow tomatoes and share an easy and incredibly tasty recipe for yellow and red tomato pico de gallo or fresh salsa. It is low carb, vegan, gluten-free and only 18 calories per serving.
Yellow tomatoes are a fleeting and coveted prize in the middle to the end of summer. You’ve surely seen them at the farmers’ market, or brought some home from your CSA. Or maybe you have some growing in your garden as we speak. But beyond simply slicing them and drizzling them with dressing, you may be wondering “What do I do with yellow tomatoes?” Are they the same as red tomatoes? The answer: Yes and no. Lets talk.
If you’ve spent time cruising the stalls at the farmers’ market then you know that tomatoes come in all different colors, red, green, pink, black, yellow, orange and striped. They are all so different, yet they are all tomatoes.
ALL ABOUT YELLOW TOMATOES
- Yellow, gold and orange tomatoes are less acidic and taste sweeter. Some yellow varieties (also sometimes called white tomatoes) can also seem a little bland because they are so low in acidity.
- Compared to red tomatoes, yellow and orange do not have as much if any lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant. Yellows have more niacin and folate though.
- When uncooked, yellow and orange tomatoes are very similar in texture to red tomatoes but many of the varieties are juicier.
- Because yellow and gold varieties of tomatoes are more juicy, and have tender skin, they break down and become watery when cooked. This is fine when using them for stews, soups and gumbo, but not a great choice when extra juice is unwelcome. This is also why, more often than not, yellow and gold tomatoes will be labeled “slicer tomatoes.”
- As a general rule, heirloom yellow and gold tomatoes are tender-skinned. This trait makes them highly perishable. As a result, yellow and gold heirloom tomatoes are both expensive and hard to ship.
- Tender skin makes mechanized picking nearly impossible and in turn makes them more expensive.
- This is why they were hard to find commercially, out of season or at traditional grocery chains until recently. Today those that are available in these groceries, out of season or commercially are often bred to be more sturdy.
- Yellow cherry tomatoes, (especially those bred to be shipped and sold commercially) can sometimes be more tart and acidic than their heirloom counterparts. Most yellow and varieties of gold and orange cherry tomatoes can be ridiculously sweet.
So what does this all mean when it comes to getting into the kitchen and making something yummy with those yellow and gold tomatoes? The short answer is that you can use them like you would any red slicer tomatoes. Laying a fat slab of yellow tomato on a sandwich would be an excellent place to start.
But the more nuanced answer is that also like to blend them with red tomatoes to add sweetness and balance acidity. Generally, I do not use them for cooking unless I want them to break down, like in a soup. I like to use them for tomato recipes that I want to be juicy like yellow gazpacho. Plum yellows are less watery for cooking and golden cherry tomatoes work well in a quick skillet panzanella.
Possibly the best way to use them is in fresh salsa, also known as pico de gallo. The reason being that pico de gallo gets better and better as it sits and the tomatoes become more and more juicy. Since juiciness is a hallmark of the fairer tomatoes, then this is an obviously great thing. The yellow tomatoes also add sweetness to the mix which balance the acidity of the red tomatoes and lime.
PICO DE GALLO
- This yellow and red pico de gallo that I made is so yummy, we devoured it with chips and spooned it over spice rubbed chicken thighs.
- The level of heat is totally up to you. I used one large jalapeno with seeds, and my daughters loved it. If you like spicy salsa, then use another hot chili too. Some jalapenos can be really spicy, so you’ll have to taste and adjust as you go.
- Taste your tomatoes and blend accordingly. If you have a wid variety of tomatoes to choose from, go for a blend. Some yellow cherry tomatoes are tart some are mild, so pop a few before deciding which to pair it with. I liked a blend of half yellow cherry tomatoes, and half red “slicers.”
- Feel free to get a little creative. I am loving the idea of maybe adding a little diced avocado like in this Avocado Salsa by Vegetarian Mama.
- If you like juicy salsa, let this sit for one to two hours before serving. Store left-overs in a jar for up to three days.
Yellow Tomato Sauce (with yellow plum tomatoes) from 101 Cookbooks.
Decoding PLU labels on produce on Snopes.
More on flavors and colors of tomatoes
How to Peel and Seed Tomatoes
Fresh salsa pico de gallo made with yellow and red tomatoes, with fresh jalapeno, cilantro, lime and red onion. An easy snack or appetizer or topping for mexican dishes like tacos.
- 3 cups diced yellow and red tomatoes
- ¾ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ cup minced red onion
- 3 tablespoons minced jalapeno (with seeds to taste)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Stir tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno, lime and salt together in a medium bowl. Serve immediately or chill.
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