Very ‘connected’ to our tomatoes this year as Peter grew every one of them from seed—coddling the seedlings through the last weeks of winter, convincing them that, yes, they must go outdoors, easing them into the sunlight, into small pots, larger pots, and finally into the big bad world of real soil with its inherent bugs—and worse. And all of them heritage plants, which made them very different from what we’re used to. Not as plentiful on the vine as the hybridized versions, nor as perfect or uniform in shape, but delicious (and beautiful). Along with the usual red variety, we had orange and green striped, plain orange, and yellow. Made some very nice salads.
And even though things are slowing down a bit—picked the last big bowl of cherry tomatoes yesterday (it’ll be small batches from here on out)—for the moment it’s still fresh bread, butter, salt, and occasionally some onions and a drizzle of oil—as the tomato festival continues (thankfully) just a little longer…
“One of the joys of summer is to go roaming through the garden, pulling ripe tomatoes off the vine and biting in. Juice and seeds drip all over your nice white shirt, but who cares? In summer the idea is to eat as many tomatoes as you can and enjoy the luxury of getting sick of them…
“My own idea of pure bliss is the tomato sandwich, which is good on any kind of bread… This sandwich can only be made with ripe tomatoes, luscious and full of seeds. The bread is slathered with mayonnaise, then dusted with celery salt and layered with thinly sliced tomatoes. I prefer this sandwich open, but it is fine with a lid.
“My favourite salad is the ubiquitous salad of the Middle East: diced cucumber, onion, and tomato dressed with salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice. If you fry up some squares of pita bread in olive oil and add some flat-leafed parsley and a little fresh mint, you have a salad called fattosh, which is ridiculously delicious and extremely simple to make.”
—from More Home Cooking, by Laurie Colwin (who, in the same book, offers up a recipe for Tomato Pie that is next on my To Be Made list)