Aaahhh… summer is NOT gone. No no no, it is NOT! Because we still have THESE coming out of our landscaping:
Yes, I said landscaping.
No, I didn’t mean “garden.” We don’t have a garden.
We grow tomatoes in our landscaping. You’d have to see it to understand why it works, but trust me, it does. Our landscaping is fairly, um, naturalized. I mean that in the most complimentary way, I do! We totally intended it to be that way.
We have six tomato plants weaseled between the hydrangeas, barberry, burning bushes, ornamental grasses and smokebushes, and right now they all have a million green tomatoes on them. STILL!
These babies are Sweet One Hundreds. Rachel Ray was cooking with them sometime last spring on one of her shows and I thought they looked adorable. Aren’t they? They’re, like, tiny! So I snagged a four pak of seedlings (plus two Big Boy plants) when we made our too-early-for-reasonable-men-to-buy-annuals-but-we’re-suffering-from-debilitating-cabin-fever-and-must-see-green-plants trek to Buds & Blooms, the big huge greenhouse 15 miles east of town, last Mother’s Day weekend. I swear, we’ve been harvesting a handful of these buggers every day for the last month and we’re still not sick of them. Well, I mean, technically I’ll only eat them cooked in stuff, but Rick eats them like candy. I guess as far as tomatoes go that means they’re pretty good.
I do not eat raw tomatoes. It’s pretty much the only food I truly hate. So much so that I know when a sandwich place or fast food restaurant almost screwed up my special order, put the tomatoes on, then unwrapped the sandwich before I could find out, took off the tomatoes, wrapped it up again and served it to me anyway. Gag! Tomato residue on my bread – not cool.
BUT! My BFF Giada once roasted tomatoes in olive oil, salt & pepper and did something beautiful and simple with them like probably put them on a plate. Drew me in like a moth to a flame (which may or may not happen everyday from 6:00 – 7:00 on Cooking Channel). I added basil (because we planted an entire huge pot of that, too, last spring; it’s my favorite) and couldn’t resist. The resulting dish smelled so incredible I had to try it. Amazing! This could be (and has been) its own special form of bruchetta on crostini, or a pasta sauce, or a topping on grilled chicken with parmesan cheese, or with caramelized onions in a summer salad like this incredible one from Joy… delish!
Tonight we actually spread them on grilled chicken club sandwiches with spinach & provolone, kind of as a tomato jam. Weird? NO – amazing! Sorry, we ate them before I could get pictures. You’d understand if you’da been here.
Oh, and yes, our basil is slowly becoming a houseplant. I didn’t have the heart to leave it all out in the cold a few days ago so, at a friend’s recommendation I cut a few bunches and have put little vases of basil all over the house. If I had to choose between roses or basil, you know what it’d be 😉
Oh, PS: that gorgeous olive oil was a gift from Jessica & Doug. It came as a bonus one day along with a wonderful balsamic vinegar in our Cline wine-of-the-month club. BONUS!