Tomatoes are finally rolling in! The wait is always worth it. This year my backyard tomato harvest is a bit more respectable than seasons past, which is to say that this weeks yield alone is larger than ALL of last years crop. I am very proud.
This weeks harvest, a windfall for my humble Queens backyard tomato patch.Part of my success was sticking with cherry tomato varieties. Their tiny size increased the chance of getting the fruit to ripen on the vine. My friends at Hook Mountain Growers set me up back in May with five different heirloom varieties, each a healthy beautiful specimen. I was well on my way to a bountiful growing season.
These will begin to turn red within a few days.
This is the slowest of my tomatoes to come to harvest and is called the Michael Pollan Tomato. You KNOW I had to have that! So curious to see it ripen. It will stay mostly green with some streaks of yellow.
As for the eating:
Combining the different varieties of tomatoes into a single recipe will give a simple dish a lot of complexity. Slow roasting the tomatoes with some garlic and olive oil till they are soft and the skin is bursting is a delectable way to use up a large crop. They can then be served as a side dish or condiment for any grilled food or as a sauce over pasta.
I am partial to tarts and decided to make one similar to the one I shared with you last summer. Use the same crust as that recipe or even easier, use a store bought prepared crust or puff pastry. For this cherry tomato tart quarter or halve the cherry tomatoes and let them tumble together in the pre-baked pie crust.
Sprinkle salt and pepper over the tomatoes and add some thinly sliced garlic and a drizzle of olive oil.
Grate your favorite cheese on top and bake for 15-20 minutes.
This tart is so good to eat and not difficult to make once you get past the business of the crust. The range of sweet and tart flavors of the various tomatoes are brilliantly featured in this dish which showcases the best of summer eating.
Gorgeous! Looks like a beautiful dish to serve at a summertime brunch, or as a starter before a dinner party. I am currently in tomato heaven, as are most people. I love visiting the local farmers markets on the weekends, stocking up on a variety of tomatoes. I've been making a simple sauce of diced tomatoes, sliced garlic, white wine and capers for EVERYTHING. Pasta, fish...it's just perfect.
Just looking at Deb's picture makes me crave an Italian white wine. (Though red would be perfectly suited to this dish as well). Last week I tried a wonderful Orvieto that would be ideal - Palazzone Terre Vineate 2010 ($14.99). Orvieto comes from the Umbria region of Italy, and can be made from a variety of grapes. (Grechetto and Trebbiano are most common). The Grechetto brings a delightful fruitiness and weight to the wine that is simply sublime. The Terre Vineate is dry, with bright fruit and a hint of minerality. Light, easy and refreshing.
Vermentino is another white which comes to mind, widely grown in Sardinia. This varietal is aromatic, with fairly high acidity. Citrus notes and flavors of herbs and almond are common. I would not hesitate to sip a glass of Vermentino with Deb's Cherry Tomato Tart! I imagine this to be an incredible match! If you can find it, the Pala Vermentino di Sardegna I Fiore is terrific as well as a great value at $14.99.
If you simply must have a glass of red, I recommend an inexpensive Chianti, or another Sangiovese-based wine. (i.e. Vino Nobile de Montepulciano). Sangiovese is a great match for tomatoes!