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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Tomatoes: Ain't They Grand


I was all set to follow up Meat Month with Tasty Tomato month, but with erratic weather, a late harvest and a busy summer, that idea will have to wait.

As I put together my first tomato sauce of the month, I realized with what a random chef I am, there is no way that I can piece together recipes when I'm short on time. But boy, do I love to cook with them. Robust red sauce, green salsa, fire roasted salsa, tomato salad, tomato paste, and fresh tomatoes sliced, lightly salted, patted dried and tossed on a pizza. Sometimes I make elaborate sauces and sometimes I just snack on them. That's the extent of it. I'm a wild tomato eater. 

I have tomatoes of all sizes and varieties. I just can't pin it down. Green Zebra, Tie Dye Bi-Colored Yellow, Brandywine, Supersonic, Purple Bumblebee, and Cherokee Purple. Some are citrusy, others are meaty and rich. Some are snack sized, others barely fit in my hands. The beauty of the tomato is that it can go with whatever you have on hand. Boil with old carrots or greens for sauce. Mix with avocado for a salad or fresh peppers and cucumbers for a fresh vegetable ceviche

Today I browned up a couple of cloves of garlic and a few tiny onions I harvested yesterday. While those were going I grabbed a reddish bell pepper from the garden and some large leaves of kale, diced them up and popped them into the pot. I threw in a Brandywine and a large Cherokee Purple. I diced up three or so Supersonic. Eh, why not another Cherokee? I grabbed some fresh Greek Oregano and some dried rosemary I had from a friend's harvest. Into the pot. Salt, pepper. Taste. Bright red and stress-marked serrano. A glug of olive oil. 

Stir...stir...stir...mush and stir. Taste. A bit of sugar. Stir. Dissolve. Stir. Mush. Stir. More salt and some sage. Boil. Stir. Simmer. Walk away. Stir. Obsess. Taste. An hour and a half later, with those quick-working heirlooms, and mouthwatering sauce. Taste. 

Mr. K arrives just in time for a taste. Groan. "Is this our dinner, just this? Please."

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