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Entries in tomatoes (2)

Saturday
Oct082011

Savoring the last sweetness of summer

Being a native of the Pacific Northwest, the concept of the last days of summer being in October is difficult to grasp. Even here, on the Central Coast of California though, we are beginning to see a change in the weather. Days are a little shorter & the summer fog has turned to some rainy days. 

Yesterday, the sky was brilliant blue & the Friday farmer’s market was lively. We saw bushels of tomatoes, sweet peppers, fat carrots, greens, potoates, stone fruit, apples & herbs.  My favorites are the sweet, plump tomaotes. They are just perfect right now and this time will pass quickly. 

 We brought home 30# of ripe & juicy tomatoes & set about saving them for those bleak months of winter when are tomato choices are  limited to overpriced and underripe grocery store tomatoes. 

The box of tomatoes became this:

.....and this:

 

.....and this:

Recipe:   Oven Roasted Fresh Tomatoes

 Ripe, whole tomatoes 

Kosher or sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Extra Virgin Olive oil

slivers of fresh garlic (optional)

Red, chile flakes (optional)

 

Heat oven to 300 degrees.

Halve tomatoes & place on sheet pan cut side up. 

Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil, sprinkle with seasonings. 

Place in oven & reduce temperature to 250 degrees. 

Bake for 1.5 - 3 hours depending upon size of tomatoes. 

The tomatoes should still be juicy when they are done. Serve warm or at room temperature with grilled bread & fresh cheese sprinkled with herbs.

 

To freeze: place tomatoes in freezer containers, drizzle with their juices & the olive oil. Cover tightly & freeze. To serve, thaw and then warm them slightly. They’re also good in soups, sauces & stews.  Share with friends.

 

 

Monday
Aug162010

Summer???

I have been reading emails and Facebooks pages from friends and family with photos of summer fun.  I'm seeing lots of trips to the beach/lake/river with swimming and boating;pictures of ripening summer gardens and backyard barbeques. All events appear to be bathed in warm summer sun. 

Here on the Central Coast of California we are reminded of the quote from Mark Twain - "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco."  Living only 100 miles south of our favorite city, we share very similar weather......and we have been freezing (well not quite) all summer!  

Our garden continues to grow massive amounts of greens of all sorts. The tomato plants are huge. One is over six feet tall and nine feet (no exaggeration - we measured it) across.

We have hundreds of green tomatoes (and one red one that we ate with an ear of our home grown sweet white corn) who are just begging for a little sunshine.  When it finally comes we will be living in tomato hell I am sure. The canner will take up constant residence on the back of the stove and tomato skins will litter every part of our lives. 

Other garden delights:

I'm calling this "bean twist."  It's amazing to see what these little plants do.

"Giant" variety pumpkin. It grows by leaps and bounds each day. There are others as well, but this is the grandaddy. I can't wait to see how big it will be by October. 

Home grown, hard stem, red garlic. Really sweet and pungent. 

Eating:

Fresh Corn, Tomato, Basil & Green Bean Salad

Serves 2 veggie lovers:

1 ear of sweet corn - kernels cut from cob

1 ripe tomato

10 large basil leaves

1 cup of fresh green beans

1 large clove garlic

lemon juice

Extra virgin olive oil

Kosher Salt and pepper to taste

 

Steam the green beans until just tender. Dice tomato. 

Mix beans, tomato & corn kernels together. Make a dressing with the lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Serve with grilled peasant bread topped with soft goat cheese.

Mound the salad on the bread. Eat outside, in the sun, with the juices dripping off of your fingers and onto the ground.   Please send photos of your sunny times.......