Friday, August 26, 2016

What Did We Do with All Those Tomatoes?

We are nearing the end of August and the end of summer here in New York. Even though I love the fall season, I’m not ready for summer to end just yet and wish to prolong it for as long as I can. What better way to stay in summer than a quick post about tomatoes?

What is the definition of summer to you? The beach? The pool? To me, nothing says summer more than a delicious, ripe tomato salad straight from the garden (yours or someone else’s). I will eat store-bought tomatoes during the year, but don’t enjoy them as much because they taste bland in comparison. A tomato salad made from tomatoes you (or a friend or local farmer) grew, is a summer treat. Keep them out at room temperature and mix different types of tomatoes together. Cut and sprinkle them with salt, pepper and oregano; pour a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top for a delicious combination of flavors.

We planted 4 or 5 different varieties of tomato seeds this year, hoping to produce tomatoes at different times during the summer. We expected to enjoy tomatoes throughout the whole summer, instead of dozens at one time. The 4th of July variety should have been ready the first week of July, while the majority of the others (Beefsteak, Thessaloniki, etc.) would be ready later in July and August. Instead, everything took longer and we were inundated with tomatoes in August...

We had so many tomatoes that I had to start incorporating them into my dishes. I chopped some up and made an impromptu tomato sauce for pasta (add a teaspoon of ketchup for sweetness). I have also sliced a few and made pita-pizzas (shredded mozzarella cheese and tomato slices on a round pita bread with some sliced, pitted Kalamata olives).

Let’s talk about tomatoes! What are some ways you have used up your extra tomatoes this summer?

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