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Even with our cool, wet spring and cool, wet early summer my tomatoes are coming on full steam. I pick some everyday now and somehow having fresh tomatoes on the counter makes dinner easy. They are so long-awaited, so sweet and beautiful and liven up practically any ingredient or comfortably take the main stage. And speaking of the tomato bounty and the pepper, eggplant, and corn bounty that’s upon us, I have two classes scheduled in late September that will take full advantage of these fleeting pleasures.

The first Black Krim, some Early Girls, Stupice, and Sungolds--this morning's harvest.

But back to today’s tomatoes . . . for lunch they make their way into sandwiches with a fried egg or just basil and sharp cheddar or a BLT if I really have it together. For dinner they get diced and tossed with feta and basil and maybe cucumber and lots of basil.

And there’s nothing better than that first fresh tomato sauce. In a large skillet, even the juiciest slicing tomatoes cook into a luscious sauce over high heat in just 10 minutes or so. Start with some diced onion, add the tomatoes (I never bother to peel or seed them, just dice and toss them in) and a bit of minced garlic if you like and finish with a bit of fresh basil or dried or fresh oregano. Toss with pasta or top a pizza with it. Or poach some eggs in it and eat with some good, crusty bread

This is a standard Italian dish. If you have pre-made tomato sauce it takes mere minutes and if you have fresh tomatoes it doesn't take much longer to put together a quick sauce. Top the eggs with some grated parmesan towards the end for a fancier dish and be sure to have some good bread on hand to serve with this.

If you have a little more time, I urge you to make this wonderful tart with tomatoes and goat cheese I started making last year after seeing it on David Lebovitz’s blog. It’s actually quite simple even though it does involve a crust.

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

And finally, if you need a picnic dish (though the tart is great for that too) and have some garbanzo beans (or white beans would probably be good too) on hand, toss them with diced tomatoes, some cucumber, maybe some arugula and/or basil and some sweet onions. Crumble some feta and dress with a vinegary dressing and you’ve got a wonderful refreshing and hearty salad.

Quick Garbanzo Bean and Tomato Salad.

Happy Cooking and Eating!

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Elizabeth #

    My counter too is covered with tomatoes. A popular salad with the children was always just sliced cucumbers and tomatoes sprinkled with Italian dressing. I like to make large bowls of fresh salsa…chopped tomatoes, lime juice, a dash of salt and sugar, minced onion, and lots of chopped cilantro. It is great with chips or over burritos or quesadillas . The juicy leftover gets added to other dishes for flavor, once the salsa bits get scooped out.

    Have not started canning tomatoes yet. The rush has not begun. Have 24 plants …should be soon, then every night another batch of sauce or juice or tomato jam or cooked salsa.

    August 30, 2011
  2. Elizabeth #

    I noticed in your post you had Early Girls. They are my favorite because fast, smaller and am guaranteed to get a bunch before season turns. The last couple years we have added a number of Mountain Fresh at recommendation of friends who say they seem to be pretty blight resistant. They are much bigger and I notice more susceptible to cracks, but do well, too.

    I did up a quart of fresh salsa last night and 2 qt of spaghetti sauce. So cleared off all the tomatoes on counter. There better be a whole
    nother batch ready for me tonight when get home from work.

    An easy recipe my son invented (single, unpaid internship, away from home) was to take a matzoh cracker and top with sliced mozzarella cheese and some sliced tomato and sprinkle on Italian seasoning, bake, and have an instant thin crust pizza. He made me one when he was home and it was good.

    August 31, 2011
    • Sounds like you made quick work of your stash. I mad a quick stew of already cooked pinto beans, lots of fresh, diced tomatoes, onion, garlic and some pork sausage and lots of oregano and basil tonight. It was delish! I like the matzoh pizza!

      August 31, 2011

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