August 16, 2008

Tomato Town

Unlike Turnip Town, Tomato Town is the place you want to be! Some tomatoes pictured here are heirlooms and some the standard type. We've been picking the really large ones a little early and letting them ripen inside. If we let them go too long outside they split, which is a big bummer. They're all so beautiful but I love the yellow ones with the red blush. The taste of all of them makes it really hard to buy tomatoes in the grocery store!

Can you eat tomatoes with all three meals of the day? We love to. Cherry tomatoes are great with scrambled eggs and toast, and a typical English breakfast, like we re-create at home a lot, includes broiled tomatoes. For lunch and dinner you obviously know the many ways to enjoy tomatoes but sometimes all you need is a plain old tomato sandwich - bread, butter, tomatoes, S&P -mmm. And in DD's words, "I'll just have a PILE of tomatoes for my lunch!" She's going back to cafeteria food soon and wants to savor the real stuff before it's too late!

Of course we're eating lots of fresh tomatoes, but now we're getting into the fun stuff of preserving them as well. We're trying a very new idea to us - roasted tomato sauce. I enjoyed roasting the tomato along with the cauliflower so much that I thought we might try roasting a lot of tomatoes at once and freezing it in batches for things like pizza, spaghetti, and Mexican dishes this winter. The first attempt I made resulted in two very charred jelly roll pans (which DH very patiently cleaned up - thanks!). I kept wanting to cook them just a little more so that the liquid would evaporate, but I let it go too long. We decided that I needed to slice them thinner and we decided to squeeze the seeds out as well. I always feel like I'm murdering the poor tomato and wasting something that's tasty, but I know that the wet pulpy part is not always so useful. We tried roasting again with the seeded tomato pieces, sprayed the pans well with a high temperature canola oil spray, drizzled them with olive oil, sprinkled on salt and pepper and put them in a 425 degree oven. They're just a little sticky to the touch when they're done. It took about 40 minutes altogether for this batch. They turned out just how we wanted them to. The flavor is so intensified when you roast them - ohhhh!! Here's before roasting and after roasting:



This is our supper of grilled chicken with the roasted tomatoes over the top, all being soaked up by some French bread that DH made. We added olives, shallots, and basil to the tomatoes when we reheated them and the whole thing was fabulous. We watch Jamie Oliver's show on the Food Network Channel and we drool over not only the food but his gorgeous garden as well - of course he does have a gardener! He inspired our dinner here, but he made his with sausages that were roasted along with the tomatoes. Our version has a little less cholesterol but man oh man, those sausages looked heavenly!

Well, this is all then.

3 comments :

  1. That looks delicious Jill! YUMMY! I just might have to try that!

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  2. Maybe I'll just have to bring you a couple of mammoth tomatoes to use when you try it!

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