Monday, July 30, 2012

Show Me Your Tomatoes and I Will Show You Mine !

Each year a restaurant friend of mine has a promotion during the peak of Summer, "Show Me Your Tomatoes!" the sign reads in huge letters swinging above the storefront.  And for sure, it never fails to attract the most fantastic tomatoes! .....a constant crowd pleasing run away success.

After this year's rousing festivities, we decided to hit the streets motivated by fantastic tomatoes.  The hunt took us to local stores, large organic national chains and small farmers market growers.  Favorites were the locally ripened on the vine where 'ripe' was not a marketing word but actually delivered that explosion of taste. Shelf life is short on these, maybe three or four days.  A hint in off season when tomatoes are underripe, one can cut them in half and slow roast them on racks in a 250 degree oven until they start to shivel.  A little drizzle of olive oil, chopped garlic, herb and touch of salt before roasting improves the oven dried flavor.  But the seasonal 'ripe' flavor adds a level of umami that can hardly be challenged.  Yes, they are all fresh, but 'ripe' brings out why a vegetable based diet with great understanding of preparation is so right.  In fact, right to the skin and body level.

More on that is great to read:

And from me, time I Show You MY Tomatoes!'

Umami Tomatoes
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Serve Time:              0 minutes
Servings:                   2

5          medium ripe farmstead tomatoes
1          cubanelle pepper
1    Tbl red wine vinegar
3    Tbl extra virgin olive oil
2    Tbl chopped fresh rosemary, mint or basil
2    Tbl chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut each tomato in 8 wedges and place in a bowl.  Slice the cubanelle pepper into thin rounds, discarding the last 1/4 inch stem.  Place cubanelle pepper, vinegar, oil and a sprinkle of sea salt and coarse black pepper over the tomatoes.  Toss, serve with crusty garlic bread and eat with Chopsticks right from the bowl. Yum!   And a shared bottle of an under $20 Verdejo, a dry white wine from Spain, brings the slightly acid dish into another expectation.