Sunday, July 27, 2014

Tomato Surprise

Tomato Surprise sounds like a recipe you might find in a Betty Crocker cookbook from the fifties.  Probably a cassrole including ingredients like canned tomato soup, saltine crackers and cheese.  But no, read on to learn about our tomato surprise.
Here is the scene about every other day.  The cukes and squash are getting pretty thick.  Dating each bag is critical to making sure we are on a "first in, first out" program.  The blueberries have been plentiful enough to start freezing some.  We are up to 2 quarts in the freezer, as many as we can eat fresh and lots more on the bushes. 

Don't get me wrong, this is a good problem to have, but the need to process is a bit oppressive at times.
This is the other fairly constant scene in our kitchen right now.  Despite eating as many as we can, processing for sauce, freezing whole, making BLT's, gazpacho, salsa and they just keep coming.  I actually made a sauce last night with Sungold cherries because they were on the verge of going over and that would be a crime.  The sauce was fantastically sweet, I put it through the food mill to remove the skins, and then cooked it with some Japanese eggplants and a load of garlic and basil. Yeah.

The big surprise in the mater patch this season were the Aunt Ruby's German Greens.  Now I knew I had started some seeds but somewhere in the translation of seed flats to stepped up pots, I thought none of them had sprouted.  I found the seed in a last seasons reduced bin and so I figured maybe they just had not been good seeds.  Luckily, they did sprout and were mislabeled.  I planted a couple in the group of plums thinking they were sauce tomatoes.

As they started to mature it became apparent they were no kind of plum tomato but some sort of heirloom.  I thought they were Georgia Streaks, yellow with a red sunburst on the bottom, but the mystery tomato was ripening later.  Not until a couple of them started to rot on the vine did it occur to me they were the German Greens. 
What a fantastic tomato!  They have a silky texture similar to a Cherokee Purple and that gorgeous sunburst of pink at the bottom. Even with very green shoulders, they are perfectly ripe, with a nice balance of acid and sweet.  Fortunately we made the realization before they all went bad.
Here a dynamite salad made with the Aunt Ruby's Green tomato, watermelon, purple onion, feta and topped with peanuts.  I did a dressing with peanut oil, rice wine vinegar and fresh basil.  It was super tasty.

Fortunately I think I have enough plums for one more big batch of sauce and the crop seems to be winding down.  Then we will go through withdrawal because we will no longer be eating 2 or 3 amazing tomatoes each day.  Oh well, can't have it all.  If they were available all year like this we wouldn't appreciate them as we do when they only are at their peak for a couple of months.  But we will have them frozen and canned to enjoy over the winter.


Carol Henderson said...

Beautiful green tomato and lovely salad. You make this simple cook want to try stuff. Thanks.

Dee Nash said...

I've never been able to get Aunt Ruby's German Green to grow here. They always succumb to some disease. Amazing about yours. I'm in the same boat trying to give tomatoes away, process them, etc. I think we have another four or five weeks of this adventure, but it's been fun.~~Dee

Maria Hitt said...

We are birds of a feather Dee. Your story of starting seeds and trying to winnow them -unsuccessfully- sounds SO familiar!