Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I know that many of you all have tomatoes planted, or have them growing right now in your garden.
There isn't much that can compare with fresh tomatoes straight out of the garden! I love them, and I'm sure I'm not the only one...
Now at the risk of telling you something you already know about this wonderful little gem, I want to share a couple of things about tomatoes and their harvesting that may be old hat to many...and new information to others!
• Harvest tomatoes when they are firm. A ripe tomato will be only slightly soft.
• Leave tomatoes on the vine as long as possible.
• The perfect tomato for picking will have full color. Regardless of size, the tomato will be very red, with perhaps some yellow remaining around the stem.
• If your tomatoes fall off before they appear ripe, place them in a brown paper bag with an apple or pear.
• To store ripe tomatoes, place them in a cool, dark place in a single layer with the stem up.
• Never place tomatoes on a sunny windowsill to ripen; they may rot before they are ripe.
• Never refrigerate tomatoes. Doing so spoils the flavor and texture that make up that garden tomato taste.
• Always serve tomatoes at room temperature for maximum flavor.
Now, just in case you get tired of eating garden fresh tomatoes by themselves...here is a recipe that will make good use of some of your beautiful tomato crop!
Crust for 10-inch quiche pan
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup slivered onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup 1/4-inch-thick slices plum tomato
1/4 cup shredded fresh basil
1 cup evaporated skim milk
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 egg white
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 10-inch quiche pan with crust. Heat nonstick pan with olive oil; saute onion and garlic until slightly brown. Spread onion mixture on crust and sprinkle cheese on top. Arrange tomato slices over cheese. Top with basil.
Combine milk, cornstarch, pepper, and eggs. Process in blender until smooth. Carefully pour over tomatoes. Bake 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
All this talk about food has made me hungry this morning...so, my friend, let's get some coffee and sit outside for a bit, OK? Maybe have a little fresh tomato juice on the side...