Monday, August 05, 2013

Maker Monday :: Tomatoes!

Today's Make feature is all about keeping up with the bounty coming from our garden. "Garden." Don't let me create the impression that I am some kind of tomato magician, with master gardening savvy. This year I left the garden to nature, and as far as tomatoes are concerned it's never been better! Our Corne de Buoc ~ goat horned tomatoes have not stopped being amazing... both in tastiness and production. We eat them. We share them. We slice them, roast them, and love them. Honestly, my one and only concern is that the, still mysterious, tomatoes will not volunteer and return next summer, and we will never know their goodness again. I still have not seen them at nurseries, or farmers markets.

Why I like love goat horned tomatoes: They take care of themselves and never give me any trouble. They are abundant. They are neither acidic, nor overly sweet. They slice cleanly. They taste good fresh, and they taste good roasted. They are cute. They have the word "goat" in their name.

Sorry. I sort of went off subject there. This post is about making, and some of the things I did to keep up with our garden tomatoes. This harvest got slow roasted. It's easy. I've been a regular tomato blog since my friend, Anna Banana first sent me her roasting recipe. And just as I anticipated, I really missed these summer delicacies in February, and March, and April, and May, and June. If you don't have tomatoes, or a garden, then please... get to a farmer's market, because you are going to want to roast summer tomatoes and be a little obsessed, like me.

Sliced tomatoes
whole garlic cloves
olive oil
Italian seasoning
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Add just enough olive oil to lightly coat your tomatoes and garlic.
I like doing this in a bowl, because I use too much oil when I try to drizzle the oil over the tomatoes on the cookie sheet.
I lightly sprinkle black pepper and Italian seasonings.
"Lightly..." sorry about not using teaspoons and grams, but just take it easy, the roasting brings out the flavors, and nothing needs to be over seasoned.
I spread the tomatoes in a single layer across a parchment lined baking sheet.
Wow, parchment paper is such a labor saving kitchen friend!
Next comes... ready? A light sprinkling of kosher salt.
Imagine each tomato slice getting 3 or 4 flakes of the salt.
We're not gonna over do this.
The tomatoes are going to be sweet, not savory, and just a hint of salt makes a nice contrast-enhancement-je ne sais quoi.

(That last bit I just made up.


I wanted to sound convincing, like a real cook.

Into the oven for... an hour? Sorry, again. I just keep them in there until it smells good and some of the tomatoes are shriveled, and some have crisped edges, and I am thinking oh, wow those look good. Let them cool, sneak a few and try not to burn your mouth, add them to a jar, and enjoy them, and think about winter, when there are no tomatoes, then be happy because it is still summer.

Onto Salsa Fresca!

While my tomatoes were roasting, I realized it had been a long, long time since we enjoyed fresh salsa. Making salsa fresca is the perfect way to honor the sweetness of summer tomatoes. So I went back to these sliced tomatoes, and I diced them. And I picked more tomatoes, and diced those, too. Then I sent Alex and Bambi to Trader Joe's for cilantro, jalapeños and an Anaheim pepper.

Goat Horned tomatoes... they are so firm! Look how little mess is left after slicing a bowl full!

In another part of our yard other tomatoes volunteered. The Goat Horned tomatoes are lined up on the left, and the others are on the right. Both delicious. The ones on the right are juicier, which is nice in a salsa.

This is how I remove the skin from the Anaheim pepper. It smells wonderful. When the pepper is charred all around, I wrap it in a cloth, and close it in a plastic bag, so the steam loosens the charred skin.

While the pepper was steaming, I sliced half a red onion, and three green onions, and added these to the diced tomatoes. Then I brought out the Anaheim, which was ready to be peeled, deseeded and diced.

This one would have made an awesome chile relleno. Next time.

Here are the red onions. I always see purple, don't you?

So, we have tomatoes, green onions, red onions, a roasted Anaheim pepper, and to this I added 3/4 cup of tomato sauce, 2 teaspoons of minced, fresh jalapeño, and an entire bunch of chopped cilantro. I dash black pepper and salt, to taste. I have also dashed in crushed red pepper, but only when I don't have a jalapeño on hand. Unless you have an especially hot jalapeño, this is not a fiery-hot salsa. But not all peppers are created equal, so sample as you go. I jar this and pop it into the fridge. But sometimes we just stand at the counter eating salsa fresca, and thanking our garden, and God, and corn chips

The next day it will be even tastier, assuming there is any left.

What are you making?


Janece said...

Gah! So delicious.. and beautiful! :)

Mahshid Hager said...

Thank you so much for these beautiful instructions!! Part of the Tomatoes you gave us last night went to work with Patrick. Another part is in the stew cooking right now for dinner. I still have enough to make roast tomatoes. Feel free to send more to work with Geoff whenever you like! ;) Thank you again Natalie!! :)