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Here come the tomatoes


jgm
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Our tomatoes are just beginning to ripen, and I'm looking for ideas. We have a beefsteak tomato plant, a plum tomato plant, and a "regular" tomato plant (I can't remember whether it's Celebrity, Jetstar, or what) that will produce moderate-sized tomatoes, plus a yellow pear and a grape.

It dawned on me this morning that there are only so many BLTs one can eat in one summer.

I know all about roasting and freezing, but I'm interested in ideas for serving raw or cooked tomatoes in ways that make you appreciate summer. The kinds of things that in mid-January, when ice is coating the trees and the power has been out for 3 hours with no end in sight...you start thinking about what you ate last summer, and you can almost smell that fresh tomato aroma.

One of my favorites is a dish where the tomatoes are hollowed out, leaving as much flesh as possible, and filled with a mixture of ricotta, cream cheese, egg, and a dab of cornmeal that adds a luscious, delicate note. It just doesn't taste right in winter, made with hothouse tomatoes.

What, besides BLTs and half-inch thick salted slabs on a plate, is your favorite thing to do with tomatoes in summer?

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Eat them from my hand, still warm from the sun on the outside, still cool from the night on the inside. Sit in the sun, then get another one. Repeat as necessary.

Heaven.

Life is short. Eat the roasted cauliflower first.

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Eat them from my hand, still warm from the sun on the outside, still cool from the night on the inside.  Sit in the sun, then get another one.  Repeat as necessary.

Heaven.

Don't forget the light sprinkling of coarse sea salt.

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Scalloped Tomatoes... from RecipeGullet

This is a great side dish for many different meals or as part of a Southern Vegetable Plate.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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Tomato and cucumber salad with a touch of pesto, red onion, lots of salt & pepper, balsamic and red wine vin and olive oil

if you have stale bread toast it and throw it right in...if you have fresh bread dunk and scoop into the salad....if you have a steak, serve it on the side :rolleyes:

tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

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Tomato phyllo pizza -- click here for a report I did on the pizza cook-off. And, you can find the recipe here on the Food Network website. We prefer it with a lot less grated parm -- it's a bit strong for those luscious tomatoes.

BTW, I'm jealous. I have tomatoes on my plants, but they are still a few weeks away from ripening, so they just taunt me.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Today it was take a few bites off the corn, then pop in a tomato wedge, repeat, alternating bites. The corn was yellow from my local farm stand (as opposed to that soft ghostly white overly flat sweet tasting crud from even the farmers market) and small but meaty and wildly flavorful tomatoes from my dad's garden.

In general I like some well toasted rustic sourdough with a thin smear of good mayo (amped with a touch of dry mustard, wasabi, and a dribble of lime), tomato slices on top, a little tasty salt. This and the corn above are my breakfast, lunch and dinner during the peak season- well maybe with some smoked or grilled pork when protein is needed.

Since I don't get that many of the beauties I keep it simple. I am a little sensitive to them so my mouth gets sore, but this bit of discomfort is totally worth it.

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Summertime salad: fresh white corn cut off the cob, mixed with diced tomato, diced avocado if you have it. Little chopped up sweet red onion or scallion, drizzle olive oil, splash of vinegar. S&P. Fresh herbs if you've got them.

"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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Slices of mixed colorful varieties alternating with slices of avocado sprinkled with sea salt and garnished with red onion and a drizzle of olive oil. Slices of tomato with slices and fresh buffalo mozz, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with fresh basil. Greek salads with fresh baguette for sopping up.

Uncooked sauce for pasta: chop several tomatoes and salt to taste. Let sit in a bowl while you bring pasta water to boil. Before serving add best olive oil, fresh ground pepper and/or red pepper flakes, fresh chopped basil, whatever. For an interesting twist omit the oil and add small chunks of butter instead. Spoon liberally over hot pasta.

It's a bit labor intensive, but my favorite thing to do with tomatoes if I have lot of them is make fresh tomato soup. The simpler the better: for 12 to 15 medium red tomatoes you need only 3 or 4 oz of butter, a cup of dry red wine and fresh herbs or garlic crouts for garnish.

A tomatoey gazpacho. Tomato tart.

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One of my favorites for cherry/grape/yellow pear tomatoes is to toss them in a skillet with a little olive oil, sprinkle of salt & pepper, a pinch of sugar, sometimes a little minced garlic. Cook just until they start to "pop". Sprinkle with minced fresh basil and serve immediately. (These don't hold well at all, but they take 2 minutes tops just before service).

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Mash a clove of garlic with a good amount of salt, add a tablespoon of cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Chunk your tomatoes into bitesize bits, and pour the dressing over. Let it sit on the counter while you fix the rest of your dinner. Add cukes and green peppers, if you want.

Crusty bread--yes. Steak on the side--optional.

sparrowgrass
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For me it's bruschetta all the way. Fresh basil and home grown tomatoes are the perfect match.

Try to find Ciabatta bread if you can but if not, use thick slices day-old wood-fired bread

8 slices Ciabatta or similar wood-fired bread

2 tbsp high quality extra-virgin olive oil

4 of those lovely sun-ripened tomates, diced

1 clove garlic, peeled and halved

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, shredded

Use grill pan to toast both sides of bread (this give a crunchy texture and nice marks on the bread). While hot, rub 1 side of each slice with cut garlic.

Drizzle each with 1 tsp oil.

Spoon tomatoes onto bread.

Sprinkle with basil. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Similar to Katie Meadow's uncooked pasta sauce, I have two variations:

Chop dead ripe tomatoes and add to a non-reactive bowl with chopped garlic, GOOD EVOO, salt & pepper, chunks of fresh mozzarella and slivered basil. All to taste, of course. Let sit for about 30 minutes at room temp, while you cook the pasta. Drain the pasta, toss with the sauce, let sit for a bit for the heat of the pasta to soften the cheese, sprinkle with good Pameggiano-Reggiano and be blown away.

For a Southwestern twist, chop the tomatoes and garlic. Add the good EVOO and S&P. Add some minced jalapeno, chopped cilantro and cubed Monterrey Jack cheese. Let sit for the requisite 30 minutes, cook your pasta of choice and toss/sit/top with Parmesan as above. Again, be prepared to be blown away.

In both instances, maybe a hint of acid if the tomatoes are very sweet. For the Italian version, I'd use balsamic or red wine vinegar. For the Southwestern, maybe a hit of lime juice. Just a touch though, in both instances, and you may not need it if your tomatoes have a good acid bite.

Tomato bread - Toast good country bread....over a grill, under the broiler, even in a toaster. Drizzle with olive oil before (for the grill or broiler, obviously NOT for the toaster) or after (for the toaster). WHILE HOT, rub with garlic cloves to taste. Halve dead ripe tomatoes across the equater. Rub the tomatoes over the hot toast. Sprinkle with S&P. Be blown away.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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Salsa de Molcajete.

Roast tomatoes on a griddle or over the burner on a rack, roast your choice of green chilis, and some fresh garlic. Grind up in a molcajete and season with salt. Add some fresh cilantro or oregano if you like. Heaven. If you don't have a molcajete use a food processor but it won't taste as good.

Learned from an "old" Mexican lady whe I was about seven. She roasted her veggies on the top of her wood fired kitchen range.

I say "old" because she was probably much younger than I am now. :biggrin:

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Something I've always wanted to try is a tomato-water bloody mary: you make tomato water by roughly chopping tomatoes, salting them and putting them in a colander over a bowl. Give it a few hours, and you'll get a clear, slightly viscous juice that tastes just like tomatoes. You'll have to vary the drink recipe (maybe use white Worcestershire?) to maintain the color. Rather than vodka, a softer gin like Plymouth or Bombay will give it more character.

I should admit that I don't much like Bloody Marys; I've just always wanted to surprise brunch guests with a clear drink that tastes like tomato.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Don't panic, jgm - I'll be down to save you from your glut! I can be there in 3 hours :wink:

This has been a horrible year for tomatoes here. All the cool, rainy weather made them come-on late and many varieties split from the rapid growth. Now it's hot and humid and they're stewing on the vine. The prices would ordinarily be dropping at the farmers markets by now but are holding steady in the $3-$4/lb range for heirlooms. It's going to be financially ruinous for me. :rolleyes:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Gourmet or Bon Appetit had a great looking recipe for grilled stuffed tomatoes. It involved bread crumbs and blue cheese and looked realllly freakin' good. I'd look for it now if I wasn't running off to class.

On another note, I'm awfully jealous of your abundance. I'm growing grape tomatoes and someone keeps stealing the ripe ones before I can get to them. I'm seriously considered putting a sign next to them that directs them to the nearest Acme or Farmer's Market. Grrr...

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Gourmet or Bon Appetit had a great looking recipe for grilled stuffed tomatoes.  It involved bread crumbs and blue cheese and looked realllly freakin' good.  I'd look for it now if I wasn't running off to class. 

On another note, I'm awfully jealous of your abundance.  I'm growing grape tomatoes and someone keeps stealing the ripe ones before I can get to them.  I'm seriously considered putting a sign next to them that directs them to the nearest Acme or Farmer's Market.  Grrr...

Put a sign up that says something like "Pesticide Test: Specimen 23-804B". Do it on the computer and add something that looks kinda like an agricultural logo. Oh, and at the bottom, add (in red!) "Danger: non-FDA-approved systemic pesticide applied to plant. Not for human consumption." Of course, everybody will think it's bogus; but if the sign looks good enough it might make them leave it alone. . .just in case.

In my opinion, the success of my plants this year is directly attributable to the fact that everything is in containers. It's much easier to control moisture and weeds. Location can even be controlled, if necessary. Carrots, peppers, beans, herbs and tomatoes are all doing really well, I'm happy to report.

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Put a sign up that says something like "Pesticide Test: Specimen 23-804B".  Do it on the computer and add something that looks kinda like an agricultural logo.  Oh, and at the bottom, add (in red!) "Danger: non-FDA-approved systemic pesticide applied to plant.  Not for human consumption."  Of course, everybody will think it's bogus; but if the sign looks good enough it might make them leave it alone. . .just in case.

very clever, jgm - the test number looks very similar to those we drive by in the fields here in "god's country'. Toss in a jpg of a corn ear or tomato (depending on what you're trying to protect) and it will look very official and scary.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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