Monday, August 23, 2010

Tomatoes!

The 2010 growing season has seen an avalanche of tomatoes. I no longer take August for granted after last year's late blight disaster. Late blight is an infectious disease worstened by cool, wet weather. Last year it devastated many tomato and potato crops across the northeastern United States. UMassAmherst has some helpful info and updates if you'd like to learn more about late blight.

But after a wet spring, New
England has experienced lots
of dry heat this year, perfect
for ripening a bumper crop
of delicious juicy fruits. We
have been fortunate to
receive many pounds of
tomatoes every week from
Stearns Farm CSA, and are
currently enjoying picking
4 quarts per week of a variety
of cherry tomatoes!

It is no secret that tomatoes
are my favourite food. Eaten
raw, transformed into sauce,
or added to a plethora of
dishes, tomatoes add flavour
in any season. I have been
busy making different types
of sauce, and freezing chopped
tomatoes to use in soups and
over pastas during the
autumn and winter.

I think my all-time fave
recipe is my tomato salad.
But I'll add tomatoes to just
about anything...sliced or
chopped on pizza, baked atop
a tofu quiche, covering a
corn thin slathered with
homemade hummus, baked
with breadcrumbs, stuffed
with tiny pasta & onions, on
a tart, sun-dried and added
to pesto...the list goes on.

And sauce! Even if you just
cook down a basic red sauce,
you can add to it later. Some
of my favourite additions are
MORE chopped fresh heirloom
tomatoes, fresh herbs, sauteed
onions, roasted garlic, red
wine & portobello mushrooms.
Oh the possibilities!

So check out your local farm,
farmer's market, or grocer. Get yourself a variety of different ripe tomatoes. And get cooking! There are so many flavours, shapes & colours of tomatoes to enjoy. Check out other blogger posts about local flavours during the Loving Local blogathon! Or become a fan of their Facebook page here. Another great resource is the Mass Farmer's Markets Facebook page, or their website here, which can help you find your closest farmer's market, in addition to local product information and recipes!

Here are some of the tomato plants around Stearns Farm as I picked a couple of quarts two days ago...





















2 comments:

Jenn @ BentoForKidlet said...

Yum, all of the tomato pics are making me hungry!!!

mamamilkers said...

I am so jealous! We don't have blight (at least, not yet!) but our plants have produced very little fruit. And those that are there are still green. I pick about 3 or 4 ripe cherry tomatoes a day right now. booo!