I was upstairs doing some work on my computer yesterday morning. Walt was out, I thought, watering the vegetable garden. When I came back downstairs, he was still outdoors, but a big bucket full of tomatoes was on the table in the kitchen. There was also a basket full of tomates on the floor. He had picked those a couple of days earlier. I decided to lay all the tomatoes out on the kitchen work table and "immortalize" them in a photo. It was also a good way to sort them. Quite a few had been damaged by heat and the hot sun, but they were salvageable, and pretty. Not to mention tasty.
The tomato crop has come in very late this summer (August 2009 post). It's almost mid-September, and looking back at my blog posts from past summers, I see that in some years we already had a lot of tomatoes in early August, and sometimes in late July. Mais mieux vaut tard que jamais... Better late than never. What do you do with a lot of damaged tomatoes? You trim them up, saving the good parts. And then you throw them in a big pot and make a batch of tomato sauce. A good amount of the sauce will go into the freezer for wintertime meals.
We saved out the best looking tomatoes, which were the ones that looked like they needed to ripen a little more. We'll prepare and eat those in different ways over the next week. With pasta, with mozzarella and basil, stuffed with tuna salad or mixed vegetables in mayonnaise, in tarts with Dijon mustard or quiches with eggs and cream... And there are still a lot of tomatoes out in the garden, ripening on the vines.
We also have about a zillion cherry tomatoes, some red and some yellow (or orange, I guess). Today I'm going to make what is called a panzanella salad — tomatoes, onions, cucumber (zucchini for us...), basil, toasted croutons, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
Your panzanella salad sounds very appetizing. Such a great idea to replace cucumber with zucchini. Do you slightly cook the onion to make it more digestible?ReplyDelete
I'm using shallot instead of onion and I'll put it in raw. It will "cook" in the dressing, since the idea is to refrigerate the dressed salad for an hour before serving it. The shallot will "cook" and the bread will soak up some dressing.Delete
Ken, the oven tray of green-topped tomatoes looks as though those have got "green-back"... in which case the outer skin will appear not to ripen, but is now too thick to show the red through.ReplyDelete
It is caused by combined conditions of irregular watering and intense heat... and is much more common in greenhouse grown tomatoes than outdoor ones.
Use the "touchy-feely" method of checking for ripeness.
And boy, do all these look good.
The tomatoes on the tray don't yet feel so ripe, so I'll leave them for a few days and keep an eye on them. We can't eat them all at one sitting!Delete
Yes... thats what I mean by the "touchy-feely"!ReplyDelete
Holy cow, that's a ton of tomatoes! Woo hoo!ReplyDelete
It is a ton of tomatoes, and there are many more to come, if the weather cooperates. In August, I had almost given up hope. Ye of little faith...Delete
What a great harvest! Not much is better than fresh tomatoes, either from your home garden or a local farm.ReplyDelete
Tomato tarts with Dijon mustard sound great! Maybe your cherry tomatoes have flavor...I've yet to find any here that do.ReplyDelete
Cherry tomatoes are great if you grow them yourself (which I do), or buy them from a local farm. But supermarket ones are generally pretty poor.Delete
The yellow and red cherry tomatoes Walt grew this year are very flavorful. And abundant.Delete