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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Got tomatoes?

Late summer usually means a bumper crop of tomatoes. Here at Old Country Gardens I only have two tomato plants this year (shhh, don't tell everybody). I'm growing two heirloom varieties, one has yellow cherry tomatoes and the other are these red plum San Marzano Lampada tomatoes.

When the plum tomatoes first ripened I was a bit disappointed with their flavor. You see, I was cutting them up and putting them in my salads and they just didn't have the taste that I was looking for. Of course that means that they produced a gazillion tomatoes and now what was I supposed to do with them?

This weekend I decided to figure out a way to use my plum tomatoes. I know they're good for sauces because they're meaty with very little juice inside. Instead of sauce though I decided to use them in a tomato salad.

First I cut them into bite sized pieces. This is when you are happy they aren't juicy, they hardly make a mess when cutting them up.

Next I added basil that also came from the garden. When cutting my herbs, I simply stack a bunch of leaves and use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut small pieces.

Can you tell I like lots of basil? At this point you could also add some onions, or garlic if you would like.

Drizzle some good olive oil over the top, add salt and pepper to taste and stir all the ingredients. Let the tomatoes sit for a few hours for the best flavor. If I'm serving them outdoors I like them at room temperature but you can put them in the fridge to chill them too. Make them the day before a party to save yourself some work and don't forget to add a few basil leaves as garnish.

You could eat this with some plain italian bread. Or get a bit fancy, brush the bread slices with garlic flavored olive oil and grill them for a minutes.

Last night I made chicken salad, added these tomatoes to it and rolled them in soft tortilla shells for chicken & tomato wraps. Delicious!


gittan said...

Mmm... yummy! That's they way I juse to do it myself and it tastes SO god / gittan

Chris and his Tomatoes said...

That's a pretty good idea. I've always thought lettuce was the center of any salad. That must be like salsa isn't it? It's something to try.

Hey, how long from planting until your tomatoes started bearing fruit? My plants seem small.