Ten on Tuesday: Tomato Edition
When I was a kid, I wouldn’t eat tomatoes unless they were cooked or chopped really small. In my mid-twenties, I was at a gathering where the hostess told the epic tale of her search for just the right tomatoes for the bruschetta (tomato slices and basil on bread) she was serving, which made me feel obliged to eat it.
In that moment, I knew that my dad was right every time he’d picked a tomato, offered it to me, and upon my refusal said, “You don’t know what you’re missing.”
Now I can’t get enough of vine-ripened tomatoes. Carole asked us to share Ten Ways to Enjoy Tomatoes, so here are some of my favorites.
1. Bruschetta. I prefer bruschetta chopped and served on lightly toasted or grilled bread.
2. Caprese salad. I serve it either of two ways: with the tomatoes and mozzarella sliced in rounds, or rough chopped. I rarely put olive oil on it any more, just a drizzle of beautiful, rich balsamic, and a dash of kosher salt. I’m going to make a bowl of this (rough chopped) for lunch.
3. Fresh sauce. Sara taught me to make this: seed a bunch of tomatoes, rough chop them, and throw in blender. Add a bunch of basil, some olive oil, and garlic. Blend. Try not to eat it all with a spoon before you put it over pasta. Notice the lack of measurements? Use your instincts and taste as you go. You can always add more garlic! I’m making this for dinner tonight, to serve over cheese raviolis.
4. Can them. I’m hoping to get enough put up to take me through winter. There is little as lovely as opening a can of summer tomatoes when there is snow on the ground.
5. Sun dry and freeze them. I do this with smaller tomatoes. Just slice them, put your oven on its lowest temperature, and let them go until they dry out. So, they aren’t really sun dried, but they are delicious. I pack them in little ziplock bags and put them in the freezer. They’re great in soups or panini in the winter. You can pack them in oil, but I don’t like them all greased up.
6. Salsa. My brother asked me to teach him how to can his salsa. I’m looking forward to trying his recipe, although I have my own favorite method. Little does he know that the lesson will cost him a jar or two payment!
7. Gazpacho. I made a version of this recipe last night.
8. Panzanella. Another recipe I learned from Sara. I linked to Ina Garten’s, but to my way of thinking panzanella is more of a “use it up before it goes bad” recipe. I never buy ingredients for this; I only make it when I have some old bread and lots of tomatoes.
9. Tomato and cheddar cheese sandwich. I’m guessing a schmear of Crack Sauce would be divine on this. I don’t know for sure since I just heard about it from Jill and haven’t yet made it. But I will. Oh, I will.
10. Straight off the vine, wiped on my shirt, and eaten like an apple. That’s how my dad likes ‘em best, and I’ve learned to listen to him when it comes to food!
Tomatoes. How do you like them?