Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Tomatoes Are The Elixir of Summer

Anna Thomas of The Epicurean

I have come to enjoy home grown tomatoes, not pureed to a pulp in a soup or mushed for a pasta sauce, not roasted or de-hydrated either, but completely natural in their own right.  It wasn't always this way though, I used to find them rather bland and tasteless.  

Let me tell you something,  in the early 2000 when I graduated and got a job with this big organisation, I used to have to attend formal dinner party events, award ceremonies and that kind of thing.  Well the most innovative Western inspired starter this vegetarian would often get served (and I write this with some sarcasm) would be a 1970s style large beef tomato hollowed out and then stuffed with some herby grain like barley.  I would not mind that much at all had the star of the plate, this fruit (and yes tomato is a fruit) been deliriously tasty, instead it was often insipid, tough and tasteless and the filling was either under done (chalky) or overcooked (mushy), never just right. I did not want to see or eat another stuffed tomato ever again (and I have not).
Then I began growing my own tomatoes from seed, it all began with this blog really.  I loved admiring our prize tomatoes and moreso loved inviting people both in reality and virtually into our Greenhouse (2009).  Things happened and the growing antics came to a halt and getting the passion back to growing both vegetables in the ground and tomatoes in the greenhouse has certainly taken its time, but it is returning slowly, especially when we harvest the fruits of our labour and are reminded once again that you cannot buy or see such beautiful specimens at the supermarket or even at the green grocers.  I have especially  loved harvesting these rather stunning buxom 'Black Russian' tomatoes that I have dubbed Gothic tomato.  

My husband jokes often,' we may not be financially rich, but we are rich in tomatoes'. Compared to last year, yes we are rich in tomato goodness.  Our tomatoes are doing fabulously as for the rest of the garden vegetables - well I better not talk about them.   
So with the tomatoes tumbling literally from the greenhouse, we have been finding simple ways to enjoy them, mostly plain as a salad with a little seasoning and dried herbs, mostly mint.  We have also been having easy meals like tarts - simply slice the tomatoes and lay on puff pasty with  herbs and seasoning and bake - a healthy kind of pizza without the cheese.  
The tomatoes are really sweet, juicy and succulent - some of these puff pastry tarts have had soggy bottoms, but we have not minded that - the taste of the tomatoes is certainly one you cannot buy that easily. 
So yes, tomatoes of have become my favourite late summer food.

22 comments:

  1. I empathise on all this! Home-grown tomatoes are seldom dull.

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  2. Me and my garden tomatoes have a monogamous relationship.

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  3. Home grown tomatoes, picked, wiped and eaten still warm from the sun are a taste made in heaven.
    J x

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    1. Still warm from the sun, yes Joy so true.

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  4. Growing tomatoes is so much fun! I used to love watching the small flowers sprout on the vines.

    Vegetarian CourtesyCheese with Papas

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    1. Lovely to hear from you Adi.
      Hope you will grow your own

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  5. home grown tomatoes really are the best. Whenever I buy supermarket tomatoes I always regret it!

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    1. I know supermarket ones are disappointing, but sometimes we have no choice and I do appreciate that

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  6. Agree 100%! We like our tomatoes pan fried in olive oil with salt and fresh herbs, but they are most awesome raw. I never eat raw tomatoes if they're bought. Like you, I like Black Russians best. As for the rest of our veg,
    Runner beans and broad beans were good; the rest not so. Think parsnips will be ok, but rest dying off early, especially pumpkins 😞

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    1. Thanks Sarojini. I like how you make them, would be lovely over crusty bread. Good to hear most of your veg have turned out good, ours not so.

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  7. Oh no, those stuffed tomatoes sounded horrible! In contrast, your tomato tart looks amazing! So easy but I imagine it is bursting with flavour! You have inspired me to grow more tomatoes this coming summer - I normally just stick with one variety - I'll have to see if I can't find some "Gothic tomatoes" to grow too :D

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    1. Kyra, they were - if only the tomatoes tasted of tomatoes then I would not have grumbled. These tarts have really really been bursting with sweetness. The tomatoes that I have dubbed Gothic are actually Black Russians, hope you will grow some different varieties in the future

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  8. Being rich in tomatoes is definitely rich indeed! Along with onions, they're completely the cornerstone of most meals around here.

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    1. Joey i agree about onions, but I find it cheaper to buy than grow my own, but tomatoes....well...you know

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  9. Beautiful tomatoes...a good thing to be rich with. Home grown always have more flavor than store bought ones in my opinion.

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    1. Thank you Rose. Homegrown stuff whatever shape they turn out always taste so much better.

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  10. I've never had a garden but tomatoes are one of the few things I've actually managed to grow indoors. I love the smell of home grown ones. Your selection with all the different colours is stunning!

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    1. Thank you, the colours are amazing. I never had a garden a few years ago, it was in the windowsill I would grow herbs, then i got an allotment, then a postcard size garden, then this. The tomatoes are from the greenhouse. I hope you will get a garden of your own one day, if you so wish.

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  11. I've had a good year with greenhouse tomatoes too, although I haven't grown as many varieties as you by the look of it! Which is your favourite?

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  12. Good to hear Matt. I like them all, so its hard to choose, but the Black Russian is probably a winner this year

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