You say Tomato, I Say MORE Tomatoes!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

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Is it normal that I bought 20 pounds of tomatoes on a whim?

I think being so wrapped up in this whole food blogosphere has altered my sense of normalcy.

Tomatoes, so many beautiful tomatoes, at the Ferry Building farmer’s market

Tomatoes, so many beautiful tomatoes, at the Ferry Building farmer’s market

No matter. I did it and I could not have been more excited as I picked up my loot from The Ladybug Truck parked outside Piccino hawking cases of juicy red tomatoes like a fresh shipment of LV fakes off Canal Street.

Why the tomato madness?

  • Because I have to get them while I can! They are ripe for the picking right now, and it won’t last forever. Yes, this is the “end of the world” fear tactic reason. Every week I stop by the farmer’s market afraid that this is the day they disappear.
  • Because I can. California, you have got yourself some amazing produce, baby. Fresh, accessible, delicious.
  • Because I simply cannot resist a good deal. Normally priced at a steep $3.50/pound, buying in bulk brought that down to $1.40/pound!

I had fortuitously discovered that The Ladybug Truck Farm Buying Club from Mariquita Farm allows your everyday veggie-crazed pedestrian the opportunity to purchase farm fresh goods like San Marzano and Early Girl Tomatoes at bulk quantities and bulk prices (20#/$28).

Early Girl Tomatoes

Early Girl Tomatoes

Yay for me, since I’ve been addicted to these Early Girls ever since I first tasted them earlier this season. These dry-farmed tomatoes have developed an almost cult following amongst locals with their super concentrated flavor bursting with umami and sweetness. They don’t even need any seasoning they are so full of goodness.

Summer Sweetness Captured

Summer Sweetness Captured

For awhile I was snacking on them straight out of the bowl like apples. I piled them on sandwiches, egregiously loaded them onto salads, made a big pot of sauce, and then peeled and canned the rest.

What should I do with my jarred beauties? What’s your favorite tomato dish?

Stumble It!
Posted by Stephanie at 12:10 am

17 Responses to “You say Tomato, I Say MORE Tomatoes!”

  1. Kitchen M says:

    20 lbs! That’s a lot!! I bought 6 lbs of heirloom tomatoes at one time and even though they were super delicious, it took us more than a week to finish… But the great thing about tomato is that you can use in so many different dishes. I just made chicken cacciatore the other night which is one of my favorite tomato dishes. :)

  2. Good for you! I bought 20 lbs of dry-farmed tomatoes for the same reasons last year, and was surprised at they lasted over 3 weeks without spoiling. I think it may have been because the tomatoes didn’t have much water that they didn’t decay quickly. I just left them spread out under the table.

    I love your blog!

  3. OMG, I am SO addicted to the Early Girl tomatoes. I already jarred 60 pounds of tomatoes, and I can’t stop buying them – It’s my first tomato season in California, I can’t help it. Last night I made a quick, easy, delicious pasta. Cut the tomatoes in half, cook in olive oil, on high, for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Throw over fresh linguine (not dried, fresh). Top with expensive olive oil and pecorino. Amazing!

    • Stephanie says:

      haha YESS! 60 lbs! you are my hero. it’s my first tomato season here too! isn’t it amazing? that sounds like a classic preparation — mmm buonissimo. how are you jarring your tomatoes? i’m nervous to leave mine out of the fridge b/c i reused some old jars and i guess you’re supposed to use lids that have a special seal if you’re storing for a long time in unrefrigerated?

    • please give me instruction on how to jar my own tomatoes. It’s so hard to find tomatoes in the winter.

      thanks ;”

      • Stephanie says:

        I peeled the tomatoes first by blanching them in boiling water for a few seconds. Then, dropped them in my sterilized jars. Notes on sterilizing at the bottom of this post on homemade marmalade. Basically, wash jars in hot suds and rinse in hot water. Put jars in a water-bath canner or on a rack set in a deep pot and cover with water. Bring water to a boil and boil jars, covered, 15 minutes from time steam emerges from pot. Turn off heat and add lids. Let jars and lids stand in hot water 10 minutes. Lift 1 jar from hot water with tongs and fill without drying. Lift both sections of 1 lid from hot water and screw on jar without drying. Repeat procedure for remaining jars and lids.

        To preserve with an airtight seal, put the jar in a deep pot. Add enough hot water to cover the far by 1 inch and bring to a boil. Boil the jar, covered, for 5 minutes and carefully transfer with tongs to a rack. Cool completely.

        Have fun!

  4. Andrew says:

    Wow. 5 lbs is a lot for me. I did something very similar to the last preparation with my last batch of tomatoes. I put a generous amount of olive oil in a casserole dish with come oregano, salt pepper, and a few cloves of garlic. Then I roasted them in the oven face up and covered in the oil for and hour and a half or two. I have been using these on everything all week.

  5. I have never wanted tomatoes more! I am Italian and I love to cook dishes from the homeland. Tomatoes are a staple in my home. Thanks for some new ideas and some fun reading. :)

  6. Maya says:

    Roast them with some herbs, a dash of olive oil..

  7. tina says:

    Yummy….but I must say, aside from all that….you took gorgeous photos of those tomatoes….love to feature some on my site….such variety….wish I was there…i’m on Long island….

  8. [...] shares my obsession with Early Girl Tomatoes and had similarly gone on a bulk quantity buying/jarring spree. Her version of Homemade Tomato Soup [...]

  9. [...] to see The Girl & The Fig representing with a savory Gruyere & Bacon Tart, topped with Early Girl Tomato Marmalade and House-made Sundried Tomato. I chatted with Aubrey, a friendly fellow food blogger and [...]

  10. [...] GET OUT THERE AND EAT. I scoured farmers markets, hunted down food trucks, pampered myself at fine dining restaurants, and dug into local favorite [...]

  11. [...] I just can’t help it. They are just so irresistible. I’ve been popping cherry tomatoes like pills, sneaking slices and dices of heirlooms into every meal, and lusting after Early Girls. [...]

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