This would have to be the most intensely rewarding time to have a kitchen garden. Every morning we pick bowls full of perfectly ripe tomatoes and their perfect companion, basil.
Jemimah, the Tomato Queen, prefers eating her tomatoes warm, and straight from the bush, biting into them like most people crunch an apple. For me there is nothing better than bruscetta. Think toasted sour dough, chopped tomato, garlic, a little basil, salt and pepper, drizzled with best olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Sublime.
Home-grow tomatoes taste nothing like their store bought relatives. Heavy and fleshy, they contain less seeds and juice and far more pulp. Intensely sweet, we eat bucket loads right through summer, turning any excess into delicious tomato passata and spicy tomato sauce, ready for the long months of tomato-less winter.
We grow a variety of plants in our kitchen garden, from the tiny truss "Tommy Toe" and cherry 'Sweet Bite" up to the giant "Ox Heart" and "Beefsteak" varieties. Twelve plants in all, two of each variety.
If I had to choose only one food plant to grow in my garden, the tomato would win every time. I can't imagine summer without them.
Which food means summer to you?