7 Jan 2011

Summer tomatoes

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?


  1. We have had success with tomatoes this year too and also cucumber, a salad is so much yummier when you grew some of it yourself :-)

  2. I adore home growns. Hate the store bought. We always plant about twenty tomatoes. We have to to get any before the heat and stink bugs set in. Our summers include 100+ days and the toms don't do well. Wish we lived in a northern climate, where we could get Brandywines and other heirlooms. But then again we wouldn't get such great blackberries. I guess I'd have to say, as much as I love the tomatoes, blackberries would be our big summer producers.

  3. your vegie garden is amazing!! We have tomatoes growing too but not nearly even close to being picked, still we do have some green ones showing but mostly flowers!
    Love the recipe idea, sounds completely scrummy!
    SMiles Sharnee :)

  4. How inconsiderate!;P Posting about your tomatoes when mine are standing in 6" of water ~ if they managed not to get flattened by the heavy rains. We are still picking some ~ & poor miserable things they are too, lacking that full rich aroma a little sun produces ~ but without the sun what can I expect?! *sigh* Now it's virtual tomatoes! I tell ya, the virtual world is taking over.

    Oh, our summer food? ~ tabouli according to moi. lol Our tomatoes, our parsley, walnuts instead of cracked wheat, our lemons/limes, our basil & mint. Mmmmm

  5. Mine just aren't growing, I'm sure it is all the rain. How did you get yours to grow despite the rain?

  6. Super well done on your tomatoes~!!

    Summer food: watermelon?

  7. Tomatos would be my pick also, along with crispy snake beans, sugar snaps or snow peas, strawberries and lots of fragrant herbs just could I love to smell them. What a lovely and ever changing garden you have.

  8. No one Summer foods?
    mangoes, watermelon, crisp green salads, nice and tangy!
    Your tomatoes look grand!

  9. Ha...that should have read number one!
    Then I listed quite a few :-)

  10. Oh, I could live on tomato and bread salad in the summer!

    I must have been craving summer as I'd decided last night to make Insalata Caprese. Had to really search just to find some edible tomatoes in the stores and then I came home to your post. Guess I'll have to gnaw on the screen as it's snowing here.

  11. oooh yes...we are also harvesting beautiful tasty tomatoes. Joshua planted acid free tomatoes this time and they are just as delicious, the only difference is they are yellow!

    Bruschetta is scrumptious!

  12. Tomatoes are my pick (no pun intended, I promise) for summer as well. I like a nice tomato sandwich on white bread with mayo and a little salt and pepper. If I have frech basil (which I nearly always do in summer), I put that on as well. Ambrosia!

  13. Nearly all our tomatoes end up in fresh salsa!!


I'd love you to leave me a message. Tell me what you like - and what you don't. Just remember that this is what we do in our family - it doesn't have to be what you do in yours...