TOMATOCON 2010 :P

I hated them as a kid, but now that I’m older, I think that tomatoes just might be the perfect food.

A few months ago, right around the time I caught the cooking bug and attempted to expand my culinary horizons, I found out how crummy the produce selection actually is at 90 percent of Brooklyn supermarkets. There are some things that I can let slide — less-than-perfect apples, mediocre grapes. But there is one thing that no amount of money can buy at a grocery store, and it’s this: a perfect, homegrown summer tomato.

So, here is my Saturday morning routine: Wake up at 9 a.m., put on my shoes and walk about two minutes down the street from where I live to the Greenpoint/McCarren Greenmarket. I’ve known about the Greenmarket since shortly after moving here in March, but I didn’t do a whole lot more than browse a few times on my way to the L train. Now, it’s my favorite part of the weekend.

This past Saturday, I got a pint of bright orange Sun Golds, which I ate like candy, and a couple of weeks ago, when it was way too hot to use the oven, I made a little bruschetta with one standard red tomato, one low-acid yellow tomato, a handful of basil, one finely chopped garlic clove and a little salt and pepper. It would have been the perfect meal if 1) I hadn’t forgotten about the bread while it was broiling (I flipped the slices over for the picture; pretty smart, eh?) and 2) I hadn’t gotten eaten alive on the back patio (referenced here) and had to move the party indoors. I’ve also made a variety of sandwiches, salads, etc., but am looking for more tomato-centric recipes to tide me over ’til the fall.

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4 Responses to “TOMATOCON 2010 :P”

  1. Erin Burton Says:

    Here is one of my favorite ways to use fresh tomatoes.

    Tomato Bread Soup: Pappa al Pomodoro
    Recipe courtesy Mario Batali
    Ingredients
    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 small onion, chopped
    1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
    2 pounds fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
    3/4 pound day-old Italian peasant bread, roughly sliced
    2 cups water
    1 cup fresh torn basil leaves
    Freshly ground black pepper
    Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
    Directions
    In a 12-inch saute pan, heat the olive oil over a medium-high flame until hot but not smoking. Add the onion and garlic and
    saute for a few minutes, until onion is translucent. Add chopped tomatoes and their juices and bring to a boil. Reduce to a
    simmer and let cook until the tomatoes begin to soften and break down, about 5 minutes.
    Using a wooden spoon, add the stale bread chunks and water. Continue simmering until all the bread has absorbed as
    much liquid as possible, yielding a baby food-like consistency. Add the garlic and stir in the basil. Season, to taste, with
    pepper. Let the soup continue simmering for 10 more minutes, then serve immediately in warmed soup bowls. Garnish, to
    taste, with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

  2. Anne Says:

    Tom/Mozz Salad…slice tomatoes and arrange on plate. Thinly slice buffalo mozzarella and put on top. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Lightly salt. Top with thinly sliced pieces of fresh basil. Devour.

  3. Rebecca Wylie Says:

    Fried Green Tomatoes are delicious! You should try those as the season ends and the tomatoes don’t ripen because it is getting cooler. You’ll think you are in the movie!

    They are easy to make, if my dad can do it, anybody can. Here’s a recipe: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/fried_green_tomatoes/

    Use cornmeal, I think it’s more authentic.

  4. tipsytimemachine Says:

    What is great with Fried Green Tomatoes, is Sweet Potato Fries with ketchup and vinegar.
    My favourite tomatoes are Golden Boys which are yellow and low in acidity, though any Tomato grown in a real local garden is like ambrosia. Or fresh cucumbers sliced in half, salted, then rubbed together (to make a salty foam). Yum!

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