Saturday, July 11, 2009
We're growing five types of tomatoes this year: Japanese Black, Roma, Grape, Matt's Wild Cherry, and Persimmon (not pictured), which is why I'm making tomato pie tonight. I'll adapt from several recipes, so I'll post it on here later.
Grape are my favorite for snacking, halved in salads, or slit and stuffed with slivers of garlic, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and roasted on the grill, like we had the other night with Gnome's rosemary, garlic, and olive oil- marinated chicken thighs and steamed broccoli. Both the tomatoes and the broccoli are sweet, which contrasts nicely with a spicy entree.
Japanese Black and Persimmon tomatoes are melty delicious served sliced all by their lonesome, or drizzled with olive oil, or sprinkled with salt, or added to a sandwich. They're juicy and full of flavor.
I use the Romas most often to top bruschetta or pasta. For the bruschetta, I pop good bread slices under the broiler for one to two minutes on each side until lightly toasted, drag a chunk of raw garlic across the surface lightly -- too much will make them more spicy and hot than I like -- then top with the chopped tomatoes that have been mixed with olive oil, sea salt and a little chiffonade of basil. For one pasta, I warm some garlic cloves and a pinch of red pepper flakes in olive oil (careful not to brown the garlic, it'll taste rancid), peel, seed, and chop the Romas into a 1/2" dice, then toss the oil and tomatoes with penne, more chiffonade of basil, and some freshly-grated Parmesan.
The Matt's Wild Cherry originate from Mexico. They are tiny tomatoes that are best popped right into your mouth. The birds must like them, too, because every spring we find more volunteer Matt's all over the property, including the front yard. We usually just pull them up if they're where they don't belong, but this year we've let a few grow where they are so that we can share the tomatoes with one of the groups that collects fresh garden vegetables listed on the website of Harvest Hope Food Bank. Two nearby shelters received about twenty pounds of zucchini and a couple of pounds of green beans
from us last month.
Gnome wanted pasta carbonara the other night, so we whipped this up by cooking up some scissor-sliced bacon, draining the pan, cooking a bit of flour in butter, slowly incorporating milk, adding in some chopped garlic and freshly grated nutmeg, black pepper and sea salt, and finishing it off with some peas and a large sprinkling of Parmesan. To brighten it up a bit and use up more tomatoes, I diced up a Japanese Black that we added to our dishes as we pleased.
Recrafting leftovers is one of my favorite things to do. This morning I warmed what was left of our Bistecca alla Fiorentina and fingerling potatoes in a little butter and served them alongside overmedium eggs with cantaloupe and blueberries. For lunch, I added some red wine vinegar to some fresh pesto from earlier in the week to make a salad dressing.
While we'd love to do some yard drinkin' tonight out back, we'll likely congregate in
the sunroom instead, which Gnome dubbed Cafe Angelique long ago. We can still catch the breezes and surround ourselves with the outdoors, but we won't have to sacrifice our porcelain skin to the skeeters. Besides, porch drinkin' is as good as yard drinkin' any day. Cocktails at five.