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.