If one can say that one love's vegetables - and apparently one can declare themselves in love with a vegetable - then I do declare I downright love these little tomatoes. Aren't they just adorable?
Sarah of the cookie lavender and her "entanglement" (our answer to how to introduce each other) farm over in the next valley and they have been producing the most wonderful tomatoes. There were heirloom tomatoes a week or two back and this week saw a bounty of small, bright, shiny things.
Tiny things too. Those minuscule orbs stacked in the shotglass pop in your mouth with a sweet, juicy, and intensely tomato splash. Late summer in a bite.
These tomatoes are a convincing argument for buying local, organically grown produce whenever you can. While they are grown less than a mile away as the elk wander, I suppose we have to count these as ~3 food miles (as the car drives) since I haven't figured out how to get the elk to deliver.
Even more, tomatoes such as these are an argument for growing your own. A tomato plucked from the vine and eaten before the sun's warmth has a chance to escape is a fine thing indeed.
This is a great tomato year out here in the fog valley; even friends of mine with a yard on the north side of their house at the base of a sun-blocking hill have "too many" tomatoes! (Maybe it's one of those unspeakable positive side effect of global warming, like being able to grow Pinot.) In any case, we are suddenly awash in tomatoes. The counter holds several pounds of deliciousness in yellow, orange, mahogany and variations on red and in sizes from grapefruit sized slicers to those babies in the picture . What an embarrassment of riches.
The pile of tomatoes, along with a just-picked bouquet of basil, was the inspiration for last night's improvisational dinner.
Three Tomato Pasta
Pasta, chicken, half a slicing tomato cooked with a little garlic and onion, tossed with quartered small tomatoes and arugula, topped with minuscule grape tomatoes, torn basil and fresh Parmigiano Reggiano.
Oh crud, you wanted an actual recipe?
Three Tomato Pasta
quantities approximate and per person
pasta - 2 ounces | 56 grams
olive oil - to cover pan
chicken, thinly sliced - 1/2-1 chicken breast
onion - 1/4 medium (obligatory meaningless measurement)
white wine - 1 oz | 28 gr
slicer, peeled, seeded and chopped - 1/4-1/2
plum/pear, quartered - a large handful
grape - 5-10 depending on size
garlic, crushed - a clove or two
arugula, torn - handful
basil, gently torn in half - dozen or so leaves
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated or shaved - to taste
salt - to taste
Bring large pot of water to boil on high heat for pasta. When water boils, add the pasta and a teaspoon of salt
While water is heating, heat a heavy skillet to med-hot and pour in just enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Add enough chicken to cover the bottom and cook for a minute or two on each side, until just done. Remove from pan to dish and cover to keep warm.
Add onions and cook briefly, until barely softened. Add wine and bring it to a boil while scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen all the tasty bits that stick there. Turn heat down to low, add chopped slicer tomato and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is cooked. (This is usually ~5-10 minutes, by which time the tomatoes, onions and garlic have melded into this rich sauce, but the tomatoes are still obviously fresh.)
When the pasta is done, drain it and add to pan with tomatoes. Add chicken, quartered tomatoes, and arugula. Stir gently over low heat for 30 seconds to coat the pasta well.
Remove from heat, add basil and a grating of cheese. Toss gently to mix. Put the pasta on plates and top with grape tomatoes and another grating of cheese.