Red Gold: The tomato plants are yielding their treasures

September 6, 2007 in Humble Garden, ingredient, Local Food, vegetable

(Tomato tart)

(Red Calabash, microgreens, cherry tomatoes, tomatillo)

heirloom tomatoes

Other people had tomatoes WEEKS ago, some MONTHS! We live in an area where the growing season dictates setting one’s tomato plants out on Memorial Day. Its been quite a rollercoaster ride with endless weeks of dark rainy days and then now drought conditions (it turned around so fast). Our trees are now already in a good fall color, WAY too early.

If you are thinking about coming to central Massachusetts on Columbus Day for peak fall colors, you will have missed it!

Back to my own little ecosystem.

We are simply awash in organically grown red gold. We have some mega beefsteak tomatoes that are stupendous if not grown from organic seeds (but organic thereafter).

We have many organic heirloom tomatoes from Seeds of Change that are yielding well. We are eating heirloom Arkansas Travelers, Yellow Perfection Pears, Calabash, Burbank, and Brandywines. I also planted “variety” salad tomatoes that are yielding a confetti of orange, red, and yellow cherry, grape, and pear tomatoes!

Our tomatillos are starting to fill out so I am looking forward to roasting some up and making a Rick Bayless recipe for roasted tomatillo salsa (see this blog post – Pre-constructed tomatillo salsa).

We are eating tomatoes at every meal now. A big part of me wants to have us eat all of these fresh, now, at peak flavor and nutrition instead of canning them.

One nice way to “dress up” a tomato for a meal (if you should feel the need) is to make a tidy little tomato tart out of it. I chose a heart shape because I was also shooting to make a logo for the Share Our Strength‘s Great American Bake Sale (you may have seen it in my side bar last week).

I simply used store-bought puff pastry and made little heart shapes. I scored the interior part of the heart to be sure it didn’t puff up too much. I sliced some tomatoes and put it on the raw dough. I roasted/baked these at 400F until the color was right on the dough (time totally depends on your oven!).

Before shooting/serving, I painted a bit of bacon fat on the tomatoes because 1) I had fresh bacon fat on hand, 2) you cant beat bacon fat – think BLT, 3) it has a lovely sheen (just don’t let it get cold!)

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