We have tomatoes coming out our ears, no one's complaining! By nature's good graces, our home crop is really producing a ton of tomatoes... Then, by the good graces of friends and yoga students, we have also been given many lovely tomatoes. It's like tomatoes from heaven!
Sungold Cherry Tomatoes! What a bounty!! Made pasta* with some of these, made a pizza, gave some to my parents, and am making Polenta with Fresh Corn & Cherry Tomatoes tonight. At this point, every meal MUST be tomato centric, or it's crossed off the list. These tomatoes are SO sweet, they are practically like candy... and frankly, they are better in salads than on pizzas. It's just weird to have something so sweet on a pizza.
(*My friend Fabrizio's cherry tomato pasta method: 2 cipolline, sliced thin, sauteed in olive oil. Add cherry tomatoes, saute until a few of them soften and pop open. Add the basil and cooked pasta. Enjoy!)
An early crop from about 2 weeks ago: Early Girls and Purple Cherokees...
... some of which became this big bowl of Pico de Gallo salsa. We had the salsa over some nice, easy tostadas. Perfect for lunches and quick dinners.
On top of my bountiful home grown supply, my wonderful friend Jane gave me a WHOLE crate full of her amazing organic dry-farmed tomatoes (technically, these are "seconds," but they are totally rad). She and her husband are farmers, and this is one of their great specialties. They are the best tomatoes I've ever had in my life. They tend to be on the small side, & the skin is a little tough, but inside... they are so incredible: the deepest red color, packed full with sweet tomato flavor. They are a delicious snack as is, and they are also great for cooking. I was about 2/3rds of my way through the box when I finally got around to taking a picture of all these babies.
What to do with such riches?? I gave some to my relatives, some to my friend JJTWH, made a pizza, made pasta sauce... and then got a bit more resourceful (and I still have some left!):
Dehydrated! I did two big trays. They took a long time (using a 150 watt light bulb in the oven), and were sticky to get off the sheet, but they turned out great...
I got about 4-5 cups of dried tomatoes in the end.
Also, some canning. 100% pure tomatoes. So delicious. I'll save these for the darkness of winter, when a blast of late summer tomatoes really lifts the spirit!
We were invited to a lovely little housewarming party, so I brought along two big platters of bruschetta... food of the gods. A combo of my tomatoes, Jane's tomatoes, and some that were a gift from a yoga student!
Yesterday I picked these two lovelies: a HUGE and beautiful Pineapple Tomato & a beautiful Purple Cherokee - my two favorite heirloom varieties, both of which are doing really well at home. I'm so happy!
They became: Pasta with Roasted Shiitakes and Tomatoes, from "Voluptuous Vegan." This is SUCH an incredible recipe. Wow. I've made it before, and had forgotten about it. The shiitakes are roasted with some olive oil and shoyu (soy sauce). Then there's sauteed garlic, fresh tomatoes, and tons of basil... with the shiitakes mixed in at the last minute. Also, check out the cool weirdo pasta shape! I got it on sale somewhere, and they were really great.
Along with the pasta, we had a simple side salad: tomatoes, cukes, yellow pepper, red onion, & parsley. Yummo!
We're right in the middle of this great tomato blitz... so you can definitely expect some more tomato-rich photos to come! May you also be blessed with many tasty tomatoes this summer!
This year I planted 6 varieties: Sungold Cherry Tomato, Early Girl, Pineapple Tomatoes, Purple Cherokee, Beefsteak, and Isis Candy Cherry Tomatoes. Pineapple, Sungold, and Purple Cherokee and probably my 3 favorite varieties I've ever tried, and I'm really happy that they are doing so well at home. The Beefsteak is turning out to be a dud, but I"m okay with that. I was the least attached to that one. So far, the Sungold and Early Girl have been super prolific, with Purple Cherokee just chugging along and pumping out a few good sized tomatoes each week. Luckily, the Isis Candy & Pineapple are just starting to come in... so all 6 varieties didn't ripen at once.