It all started with this box:
A good friend from my hometown met Matt and I halfway between Lubbock and Portales a few weeks ago. I had expressed fear that I would make it through the whole summer without having a single, proper Summer tomato. She expressed her overwhelming abundance of the sort and offered to bring us some. So we decided: emergency roadside picnic! We sat on a bench in a church yard off the main road that runs through Sudan and each brought yummy picnic items: I brought chicken quesadillas and a cucumber/mozzarella salad to which I added some of the sun-warmed tomatoes. She brought homemade salsa and Chicharrones de Pollo (Caribbean fried chicken).
So we went home with about 30 extra ripe tomatoes and not much time to use them all up! The main thing you need to do with tomatoes like these is simply cut in half, salt and eat.
Room temp. DON’T YOU DARE STICK THEM IN THE FRIDGE! You will surely answer to the fresh produce gods for this. Anyway, I couldn’t possibly eat that many tomatoes just by that method, so I looked up a few recipes and here were the most tasty:
This was one of the most flavor-packed recipes I’ve ever made. It’s almost like a little pizza. You start with pie crust in a tart pan, you roast 5 garlic heads till golden and smush them up for the “sauce”, then you top with ripe tomato slices, chopped fresh basil and scallions and crisp bacon, and top that with a mayo/Parmesan/breadcrumb mixture and bake. Totally divine.
the garlic paste
the cut up tomatoes for the tart
before you bake, all assembled
the leftover crusty goodness
So that was the best recipe using the tomatoes. It came from Emeril, so check it out and make it tonight! I think even if you don’t have fresh tomatoes, the whole canned ones would taste pretty good, too.
Coming in second place was the tomato/crab salad stuffed tomatoes. An original “throw-together” creation of canned crab claw meat, fresh corn cut from the cob, watercress, a bit of mayo, some garlic-chili
paste, and of course, salt and pepper. Scoop out the center of the tomato and add that in, too if you want (but that tends to make things kind of watery) and stuff! Very crisp and crunchy and GOOD.
And coming in third was a basic tomato sauce. Chopped celery, carrot, tons of tomatoes, milk, apple cider, red pepper flakes for heat, bay leaf and lots and lots of simmering. Not too bad served with with some garlic cous-cous and turkey. Not bad at all.
Thus endeth the tomato saga. I’ve had enough citric acid to tear a hole in my stomach, but it was worth it!
What did YOU do with your tomatoes this summer?