Monday, July 19, 2010

It's time to go tomato crazy

I couldn't stop myself Saturday morning. The tomatoes were in their full glory at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market and before I knew it, I had a half-dozen kinds.

Light-bulb shaped tear-drop tomatoes. Yellow and red Sungolds, a little smaller than cherry tomatoes. A couple of Green Zebras. A few basic slicers. And a bagful of the small White Currant tomatoes grown by Kim at Small City Farms: They're too small to stab with a fork in a salad, so I just carry around a bag of them and pop 'em like M&Ms.

It was tough, but I resisted the paste tomatoes at Dean Mullis' stand, and at least a half-dozen more kinds of heirloom tomatoes from a half-dozen farms.

So what to do with all those tomatoes? Tomato sandwiches, for sure. Maybe a few grilled tomatoes. Bruschetta when I get a chance. But first, just because you should revel in tomatoes in July, I threw together an all-tomato salad Sunday, just a bowl of cut-up tomatoes of all shapes and colors, a little fresh mozzarella, and a simple tomato-flavored dressing.

How about you? What's your favorite way to make the absolute best use of tomatoes in July?

Tomato-to-the-Max Dressing

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon concentrated tomato paste from a tube

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

3 tablespoons best-quality olive oil

Whisk together the sherry vinegar, tomato paste and garlic in a small bowl. Place the bowl on a folded dish towel and slowly whisk in the olive oil. Flavor to taste with coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour over the bowl of cut-up tomatoes, toss and serve.


Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

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Philip said...

We love fresh sliced tomatoes zipped up a little with Wickles Pickles or pickled ginger!

Ilke said...

I love eating tomatoes in any salad. When I have the juicy ones, I dice them along with a cucumber, red onion, green onion, finely chopped parsley and chopped toasted walnuts. The pour the dressing made with extra virgin olive oil, pomegranate juice concentrate (or extract,not sure what they call it here), salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and/or sumac. Sometimes I put feta cheese if I have a good Turkish brand made from sheep's milk.

I have been eying the green tomatoes at the farmer's market for a while. As soon as I work up some courage, I will try fried green tomatoes - maybe oven that my LDL cholesterol does not skyrocket like crazy!