I was recently contacted by Mooney Farms to see if I was interested in trying their line of Bella Sun Luci sun dried tomato products. Since I have always been a huge fan of sun dried tomatoes, I quickly agreed. Within days I had a lovely box of tomato products arrive at my door, and I have thoroughly enjoyed taste testing them in recipes over the past week. I found the Bella Sun Luci tomatoes to be delicious with a truly vibrant tomato flavor. Even the packaged tomatoes not packed in oil were so soft that I found I didn’t have to rehydrate them before using them. I am particularly in love with Bella Sun Luci Pesto With Pine Nuts and have been using it in my vegetable sautés and even simply spreading it on slices of crusty bread as a snack. Stay tuned for upcoming recipes using this delicious product!
Mooney Farms began in 1987 as a kiwi farm and their products were sold locally at farmer’s markets in northern California. They now carry sun dried tomatoes as well and are now becoming famous for their quality dried tomato products. The Mooney Farm sun dried tomato products are made with 100% olive oil making them perfect to use in any of your favorite Italian recipes. Bella Sun Luci products can be bought at various US stores, through Amazon.com or through the Bella Sun Luci Online Store.
I was interested learning that sun dried tomatoes are actually more nutritious per ounce than fresh tomatoes and Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes have 12 times more lycopene than fresh. Lycopene is an important carotenoid, a natural color pigment that contributes to the deep red color of tomatoes. It is only in the last decade that lycopene has become widely recognized as a potential protector against the risk of certain types of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Some Of My Favorite Uses For Sun Dried Tomatoes
The flavor of sun-dried tomatoes is quite intense, concentrated, and slightly salty, so a little goes a long way.
- Antipasti: Mozzarella or goat cheese balls marinaded in a mixture of sun dried tomatoes, Italian herbs, and olive oil make a great easy appetizer served along with crusty bread. You can also blend sun dried tomatoes with cream cheese to create a tasty spread for crackers or grilled bread.
- Pasta and Salads: Chop up sun dried tomatoes into small pieces and toss them into penne sautéed chicken, shrimps, or other roasted or grilled vegetables for a flavorful and simple meal. Use Bella Sun Luci Pesto as is by tossing it with hot pasta, and some chopped fresh basil. You can also add them into any salad (including egg and tuna salad) for heartiness and flavor.
- Soups and Sauces: Substitute a cup of sun dried tomatoes for tomato paste in a vegetable soup for an enhanced tomato flavor. Or add some to your basic marinara sauce for a vibrant taste. Your favorite Chicken or Eggplant Parmigiana recipe will get rave reviews!
- Marinades and Dressings: I use sun dried tomatoes mixed with my favorite Italian herbs, minced garlic, and olive oil for my all-purpose marinade for grilled chicken, meat, or vegetables. A dressing of olive oil, minced garlic, and sun dried tomatoes tossed with roasted or steamed hot vegetables really brings them to life!
- Breads and Pizza: Chopped sun dried tomatoes always add vibrancy and zest to baked breads and cornbread. I also like to include chopped sun dried tomatoes along with my other favorite pizza topping ingredients. You can also include sun dried tomatoes in your favorite sandwich wraps or panini for a burst of flavor.
Some Favorite Recipes Using Sun Dried Tomatoes
Mooney Farms is running a contest where you could win $2500! Check out the details by clicking the contest image below!
Disclosure: I was sent the Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomato products free of charge to review. All opinions in this review are my own, and reflect my personal opinion of the product. I will not review any product on Italian Food Forever that I would not recommend to my blog readers.