Dougloid
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In Praise Of Tomatoes

Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:04 pm

We've had a nice chat about the pleasures of overindulging in sweet corn in all its variations. Let us all pay homage to the tomato. ( I prefer 'love apple' myself, but that term's gone out of fashion).

One of the other pleasures of the summer's Midwestern gastronomic experiences is fresh tomatoes from the garden, or, in my case, from the tomato patch of a local farmer who lets you pick what you like at $0.30 a pound. You have to do a little looking because the market tomatoes for crating have already been picked but there's always plenty left over.

About once every ten days during the season I head down the road west of Grimes and go north to the windmill and I'm there. When I've filled my box, it's about 17 pounds. He seems to grow only one variety and that's Better Boy.

Here's how I do them.

When I get home they're still warm from the sun. Two or three, sliced up go into a bowl. That gets topped with some extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, a dash of Lawry's garlic salt and a dusting with oregano.

Nirvana....it's also time to overindulge because after the frost all you'll have is those wretched gassed California baseballs or overpriced, tasteless hydroponic tomatoes.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
kmh1956
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:39 pm

Sliced, drizzled with a splash of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and misxed with fresh basil leaves...a touch of salt and pepper. Refrigerate for a few hours...yummy.

Quoting Dougloid (Thread starter):
wretched gassed California baseballs or overpriced, tasteless hydroponic tomatoes.

Oh yeah...the ones that taste/look like styrofoam on the inside, painted very pale orange on the outside...avoid them like the plague. Get the good ones from a local farmer or farmer's market!!!
'Somebody tell me why I'm on my own if there's a soulmate for everyone' :Natasha Bedingfield
 
ORFflyer
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:40 pm

Quoting Dougloid (Thread starter):
He seems to grow only one variety and that's Better Boy.

Damn fine variety - those and Early Girl are probably my favorites.

Quoting Dougloid (Thread starter):
That gets topped with some extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, a dash of Lawry's garlic salt and a dusting with oregano.

Sounds real good - I'm going to try some that way.

I like to cut them into a bowl, along with fresh cucumbers, green peppers, and onions. Drizzle with olive oil, some vinegar, a dash of sugar, salt-n-pepper. (heavy pepper for me) Dadgum delicious!!
 
ronglimeng
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:47 am

I was thinking about tomatoes when the corn thread was running last week.

They seem to go hand-in-hand for me, both of them available in early August.

Right now we eating sliced field tomatoes for breakfast, toasted tomato sandwiches for evening snacks, and for salads in between.

In a few weeks we will be sick of them, but then they will be gone for another year. It is hard to believe those things you get from the hot houses have the same name.

I wish we could get delicious, juicy field tomatoes all year 'round so I could enjoy them in moderation.
 
RobertNL070
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:47 am

Quoting Kmh1956 (Reply 1):
Refrigerate for a few hours

Spoils all the flavour. I much prefer my tomatoes or tomato salad at 'room temperature'.

Robert
Youth is a gift of nature. Age is a work of art.
 
ORFflyer
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:00 am

Quoting RobertNL070 (Reply 4):
Spoils all the flavour. I much prefer my tomatoes or tomato salad at 'room temperature'.

 checkmark  We never put tomatoes in the frig. Any kind of "tossed-salad" is best at room-temperature I think.
 
ltbewr
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:07 am

We are at late end of the tomato and sweet corn season in New Jersey - home of some of the best eating tomatoes in the USA and the world. S salad with fresh "Jersey" tomatoes and lettuce, boiled sweet corn swathed in melted butter and a medium rare steak grilled on the BBQ....mmmmm.... a sign of mid to late summer here.
 
stlgph
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:11 am

Quoting Dougloid (Thread starter):
Two or three, sliced up go into a bowl. That gets topped with some extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, a dash of Lawry's garlic salt and a dusting with oregano.

Add spinach, some red onion, bleu cheese crumbles.
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bagpiper
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:14 am

We have 7 vines out behind the house.... I think they're Better Boy variety. Big, juicy, bright red tomatoes. Lovely! Only problem is the skin is a weee bit tough.... but I'll take that over the grocery store crap any day!

We have been getting around 4 or 5 per day for the whole summer! Its great!
 
RobertNL070
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:16 am

Quoting STLGph (Reply 7):
Add spinach

... or water cress for that peppery tangy flavour!

Robert
Youth is a gift of nature. Age is a work of art.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:19 am

Quoting STLGph (Reply 7):
Add spinach, some red onion, bleu cheese crumbles.

That's good salad right there, tomatoes are not even neceesary.

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 6):
S salad with fresh "Jersey" tomatoes and lettuce

Are these "Jersey" tomatoes from New Jersey or from the original Jersey, in the Channel Islands. Jersey tomatoes are also famous and get flown worldwide.

Eehh - tomatoes, yeah well, they're OK, but I don't go a bundle on them. I like the little cherry tomatoes, with a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil, just by themselves.

Grilled tomatoes are good, especially with bacon and sausages, mmmmmmmm. And of course let us not forget the humbled canned tomato, so vital for our Italian pasta sauces - mmmmmmmmm too.
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atrude777
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:45 am

Oh man guys your making me hungry!

I liek just to cut up some tomatoes, and add heavy Salt and some pepper.

Maybe some seasoning, sounds so healthy and excellent for you.

I am not a fan of refigerated myself unless it is in a salad. Otherwise, room temperature is good enough for me.

Strangely enough, i HATE tomatoes in my BLT, even though that is the point of the sandwhich, strange Ain't I?  Silly

Alex
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comorin
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:57 am

All delicious eating tomatoes! All hail New Jersey.

Question: 'Eating' tomatoes tend to be low on acid, which is necessary for a good cooking tomato. What local brands would you use for, say, making tomato sauce?
 
kmh1956
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:58 am

Unfortunately, in the summer here we have to put them in the fridge. Otherwise they'd be crawling in ants in no time at all. The summer heat brings out ants by the billions.....and it doesn't matter how clean your house is....they're on the hunt for water.
'Somebody tell me why I'm on my own if there's a soulmate for everyone' :Natasha Bedingfield
 
MCOflyer
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:02 am

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 11):
Oh man guys your making me hungry!

Same here.

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 11):
I like just to cut up some tomatoes, and add heavy Salt and some pepper.

i like my tomatoes from the vine and like those big juicy ones. I eat a tomatoe like a apple. Anyone else here do that?

Hunter
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N1120A
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Wed Aug 22, 2007 2:27 am

So far, my parents have picked at least 100 pounds of various tomato varieties, including orange oxhearts and cherokees. I have taken a bunch for myself and just started snacking on the little buggers.

Quoting Dougloid (Thread starter):
is those wretched gassed California baseballs

Oh please. I have never had a better tomato than a fresh California heirloom. Just because you guys don't have the weather to get good, ripe tomatoes all year round doesn't mean you should take it out on those of us who can. Those "baseballs" are in your stores because they ship better.

Quoting Dougloid (Thread starter):
overpriced, tasteless hydroponic tomatoes.

Actually, there is a Japanese lady at the local farmer's market who grows the most amazing hydroponic tomatoes, and she sells them for a reasonable price. She also grows hydroponic Japanese eggplant that are great.
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ScarletHarlot
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Wed Aug 22, 2007 3:24 am

Oh yes, heirloom tomatoes! Whole Foods has them this time of year - all sorts of big red ones, medium green ones, small yellow ones - so tasty!

I eat them at room temperature, sliced, with a bit of sea salt.

I was convinced of how delicious tomatoes could be a few years ago at Rain City Grill in Vancouver. They had an appetizer that was sliced heirloom tomatoes with sea salt, a tiny bit of balsamic, and some shiso. Absolutely delicious!

I have a couple in the fridge. I should wash them and put them out to warm up so I can have them for lunch. Yum!
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Dougloid
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Wed Aug 22, 2007 3:38 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 15):
Oh please. I have never had a better tomato than a fresh California heirloom. Just because you guys don't have the weather to get good, ripe tomatoes all year round doesn't mean you should take it out on those of us who can. Those "baseballs" are in your stores because they ship better.

I pretty much have given up on the storebought stuff, with the exception of one brand of cherry tomatoes called Desert Glory....they're very tasty and they ship well. The hydroponic tomatoes are rather tasteless, and the baseballs are useful for crowning little kids and showing to people who've never seen a good tomato..

As a point of information, the best tomatoes I ever had in California were harvested from a plant that grew up from a crack in the pavement behind a restaurant in Long Beach that had closed the year before. Talk about your volunteer tomatoes...that plant was my secret.

I think if I was growing them again in the public gardens in Long Beach I'd most likely grow them under cheesecloth...too damn much sun and not enough rain makes for a sour, thick skinned tomato.

You need a dormant season with hard frost to take care of plant diseases and pests and that's one thing that we have over you. I eventually quit the public gardens because the place was infested with tobacco mosaic virus that ended up killing nearly everything-that and the damned fig beetles.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
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LTU932
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Wed Aug 22, 2007 4:10 am

Quoting Kmh1956 (Reply 1):
Sliced, drizzled with a splash of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and misxed with fresh basil leaves...a touch of salt and pepper. Refrigerate for a few hours...yummy.

You should try this:

Buy a bag of a whole ball of mozzarella (the one that is in a bag with its juices, not the dried one) and slice it (not too thin, and not too thick). Lay over each slice of mozzarella a slice of tomato, then on each slice a small basil leaf, season with salt and pepper, and then drizzle some olive oil over all slices. Trust me, you'll like it.  Wink
 
yooyoo
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Wed Aug 22, 2007 4:14 am

Fresh from the farm, with onions, salt and pepper c/w a piece of sliced rye bread, buttered of course. I love tomato season.
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N1120A
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:12 am

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 17):
too damn much sun and not enough rain makes for a sour, thick skinned tomato.

Nah. Our tomatoes get lots of sun and we use irrigation and they come out great.

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 17):
You need a dormant season with hard frost to take care of plant diseases and pests and that's one thing that we have over you.

Intelligent, organic farming with integrated pest management can handle that as well.

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 18):

Buy a bag of a whole ball of mozzarella (the one that is in a bag with its juices, not the dried one)

Otherwise known as fresh mozzarella. Remember though, it doesn't last nearly as long
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LTU932
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:18 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 20):
Otherwise known as fresh mozzarella. Remember though, it doesn't last nearly as long

True, but it does taste much better than that dried crap they usually sell.  Wink

I used to love going to the nearby supermarket, buying a 125 g bag of fresh mozzarella and have my mother prepare that dish. Big grin Too bad it's almost impossible to get fresh mozzarella here in Costa Rica though.  Sad
 
ThePRGuy
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Wed Aug 22, 2007 6:18 am

OK,

beef tomato or a large sized tomato.
Sliced, thickly. Mozzarella, sliced thickly.
Layer in a cute pattern.
Drizzle over balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil.
Salt and pepper.

Done.

Alex
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Dougloid
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:12 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 20):
Quoting Dougloid (Reply 17):
You need a dormant season with hard frost to take care of plant diseases and pests and that's one thing that we have over you.

Intelligent, organic farming with integrated pest management can handle that as well.

Nope. You guys don't have an off season to allow nature to kill off the bad stuff so you cheat and tip the can when you think nobody's looking. We're on to you.

Anyway if you're so informed about these matters you'd know that tobacco mosaic never goes away and there's no way to destroy it. Spray or not, makes no difference. The only thing that you can do is stop planting for a few years and have some hard frost. I mean, if you could kill tobacco mosaic the smog would have done it. It kills lung cells, right?


 Wink  Wink
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
N1120A
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:44 am

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 21):

True, but it does taste much better than that dried crap they usually sell.

Well, it depends. Fresh mozzarella is not good for pizza, as it doesn't have good melting qualities and has more fat, which makes the pizza oily.

Quoting LTU932 (Reply 21):
Too bad it's almost impossible to get fresh mozzarella here in Costa Rica though.

That is too bad. You could always try making it yourself  Wink

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 23):

Nope. You guys don't have an off season to allow nature to kill off the bad stuff so you cheat and tip the can when you think nobody's looking. We're on to you.

LOL. Cute. Actually, I haven't eaten a non-local, non-organic tomato in California for years now.

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 23):
I mean, if you could kill tobacco mosaic the smog would have done it. It kills lung cells, right?

The area I grew up in is highly agricultural and smog free. Then again, tobacco mosaic would mean they don't have any tomatoes to sell, which definitely isn't the case  Wink
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saxdiva
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Wed Aug 22, 2007 3:38 pm

Here's another tomato dish I like to make this time of year:

Take some large tomatoes and cut them into slices 1/2" to 3/4" inch thick. Brush olive oil on both sides and put the tomatoes on the grill (I use a grill pan, but foil also makes this easier) over low flames for a few minutes--just until heated a bit. Remove them, spread a layer of pesto on the the side you just grilled, and add a layer of grated mozarella cheese (I've only tried this with the low-moisture stuff) over the pesto. Put them back on the grill until the cheese is melted--maybe five minutes.

This is great for vegetarian friends, or you can serve it as an appetizer with a good Chianti sometime when you're grilling steaks.
 
Dougloid
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Wed Aug 22, 2007 10:08 pm

Quoting Saxdiva (Reply 25):
Here's another tomato dish I like to make this time of year:

Take some large tomatoes and cut them into slices 1/2" to 3/4" inch thick. Brush olive oil on both sides and put the tomatoes on the grill (I use a grill pan, but foil also makes this easier) over low flames for a few minutes--just until heated a bit. Remove them, spread a layer of pesto on the the side you just grilled, and add a layer of grated mozarella cheese (I've only tried this with the low-moisture stuff) over the pesto. Put them back on the grill until the cheese is melted--maybe five minutes.

This is great for vegetarian friends, or you can serve it as an appetizer with a good Chianti sometime when you're grilling steaks

Sounds delicious. Next time I'm grilling this'll get a look.

We may all kvetch about regional differences but I think it's agreed that there are few things tastier than summer tomatoes, and the more you can get the better you feel.

Come to think of it, tomorrow's the day to go and snag another boxful.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
JGPH1A
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:52 pm

Quoting Saxdiva (Reply 25):
Take some large tomatoes and cut them into slices 1/2" to 3/4" inch thick. Brush olive oil on both sides and put the tomatoes on the grill (I use a grill pan, but foil also makes this easier) over low flames for a few minutes--just until heated a bit. Remove them, spread a layer of pesto on the the side you just grilled, and add a layer of grated mozarella cheese (I've only tried this with the low-moisture stuff) over the pesto. Put them back on the grill until the cheese is melted--maybe five minutes.

Mmmmmmm - sounds amazing ! I shall have to rush round to pasta store near the station and get some of their fresh, home-made pesto and a blob of lovely lovely mmmmmozzrelllllllla and try this one.
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IFEMaster
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:59 pm

My neighbour popped round yesterday afternoon and handed me a small bag of some fresh cherry tomatoes she's been growing this summer. I'm not such a fan of cherry tomatoes, but these are simply excellent. I made a small garden salad with a large contingent of them yesterday to serve with the tri-tip I had on the grill, and also used them for an appetizer. I cut them in half and placed them face down over slices of a fresh baguette, put a little chopped green onion on and a slices or two of good brie, and put them in the oven for a few minutes to melt. Absolutely brilliant.
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comorin
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RE: In Praise Of Tomatoes

Thu Aug 23, 2007 2:24 am

Tomatoes+ Mozzarella+Olive Oil is called Caprese around these parts.

Try using a good sea salt like Maldon on fresh tomatoes, makes a HUGE difference! I really mean it!! Dougloid, please try!!!

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