Mid Week Inspiration No. 4

September 14, 2017

“You like potato, and I like potahto
You like tomato, and I like tomahto

Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto
Let's call the whole thing off”     ~ Ella Fitzgerald | “Let's Call the Whole Thing Off.”

— — —

If you're anything like me (and I suspect you're an awful lot like me), you have a countertop filled with the most incredible tomatoes you'll eat all year long

They were lovely when you bought them.  You were a combination of hungry and hopeful at the farmers market.  You were feeling kinda spendy, and the heirlooms were on sale.  Or maybe your neighbors leave bags of them inside your front door, along with the sweetest of notes

“We had extra; you'll know what to do with them.” 

Or maybe, you sent your husband to the grocery for just a few things, and he came home with two that were big and perfectly yellow (your all-time favorites).  You wonder if bought them because the sun was shining, and he had his sunglasses on inside the grocery, or well maybe, just because

So that's where you were, and now here you are with languishing tomatoes and the laziest of hopes

What to do?  We can't let these gems of goodness go to waste.  After all, they came from nada mucho and turned into something truly special.  To celebrate the ending of summer and the beginning of fall, the least we can do is

not let them go to waste

Photo Credit: funhappyquotes.com

Here's the inspiration we need:

For your saucing needs:  Deb's Naked Tomato Sauce and Heidi's Golden Tomato Sauce are both incredible     [via Smitten Kitchen and 101 Cookbooks]

The simple, most genius thing you can do to a ripe tomato     [via Food52]

Because making a good sandwich for yourself is a meditation and belly-satisfaction     [via Serious Eats]

17 tomato recipes that taste like summer in every bite     [via Bon Appetit]

Two favorites we can't get enough of this summer:  Scalloped Tomatoes and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Chive Dressing

Saveur has some of the best tomato recipes (especially their tomato soup and also the grilled tomatoes)     [via Saveur]

Because there's nothing better in the summertime than a tomato salad      [via Food52]

Photo Credit: Instagram – @vsco

Along with some fun food for thought:

Whether you find tomato peels to be harmless or your basic nightmare .. three ways to get rid of them     [via Food52]

Related:  How to core and seed them     [via America's Test Kitchen]

Still, haven't filled a tote bag full of summer produce? 13 Farmer's Markets Worth Traveling For     [via Bon Appetit]

A guide for picking the very best ones     [via TheKitchn]

How big was the largest tomato on record? (Plus other cool trivia including the 1978 cult classic they inspired)     [via Real Simple]

Related:  Six common tomato myths     [via Bon Appetit]

What gives tomatoes their deep red color, and why are they so good for us? [via The World's Healthiest Foods]

Have you ever wondered how to keep tomatoes fresher longer? Me too     [via Food52]

An old (and great) read from Malcolm Gladwell on one of our favorite ways to eat them. The Ketchup Conundrum     [via The New Yorker]

Expert canning advice, insights, and also a recipe from cookbook author Maria Sinskey     [via Williams and Sonoma]

Don't have special canning equipment? You can also freeze them     [via hgtv]

“Go to the farmers market.  Pass the $5-a-lb heirloom tomato lady several times.  Do nothing.  As you are about to leave, approach her table, dig around in your pocket for the last time, place two tomatoes on her scale, then fork over your last $10, $3 of it in change.  Go home.  Lie to your spouse about how much they cost.  Place salt on a nice piece of china.  Cut up tomatoes, dip them in the salt and eat them.  Regret nothing”     ~ Food52  and a recipe (of sorts) for Expensive Tomatoes

 

(Video credit:  Youtube – Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers)

How are you using your end-of-summer tomatoes? Any great tips we should know about?

 

pps:  For more Midweek Inspiration: Good reads for our nightstands .. What's inspiring you this week? .. and Instagram accounts you'll love to love

 

(Featured Image Photo Credit: Instagram – @madeleinelumley)

 

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44 Comments

  • Reply Yukti August 24, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    I just keep it simple and usually just slice, put on toast, and sprinkle a little salt and pepper. This is a great opportunity to use a fancy finishing salt like Maldon. Over the years I’ve tried so many other preparations, but I’ve decided that this is the best way to savor the flavor of a perfect tomato.

    If I have too many I often find myself making salsa.

    Of course, making sauce is a way of dealing with a lot of tomatoes, but I typically buy the overripe ones for sauce making. At least one of the stands at my farmers market sells discounted sort-outs. Seems like a shame to cook a perfect tomato, it’s better and more cost efficient to use overripe ones instead.

  • Reply Tomi August 27, 2017 at 8:39 am

    I make a Dagwood sandwich at lunch and what’s left goes in the fridge for that night in a sealed container or wrap. I’ve been combining that with sliced okra and various things like onion or not, grilled shrimp at the last minute. Last night I brought in a pizza with no tomatoes on top and added my own, roughly chopped and reheated. Shabbiness quotient: 0.

  • Reply Jane August 30, 2017 at 6:37 pm

    On top of a toasted and buttery English Muffin I put two thick slices of tomatoes that have been fried in a little bit of carried butter and Old Bay. Then I make two eggs (sunnyside up), with melted cheddar on top + a pinch of S & P. I slide them over the top of the tomatoes and enjoy. It’s the summertime breakfast I’ve been eating since I was a kid. x

  • Reply Melissa August 31, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    There’s nothing better than slow-roasting the tomatoes. Always skin side up atop fresh oregano, garlic and olive oil. Roast 300° for about 2 hours. Store in fridge for a few weeks or freeze in snack zip bags to use this winter. Intensely awesome flavor!

  • Reply Lyka September 14, 2017 at 3:48 am

    My mom uses tomatoes for sauce, but my niece loves to eat them fresh! But because I don’t know a lot of recipes, I’ll just leave a great tip about tomato here–use it as a face mask. Works wonders with dark spots! 🙂

  • Reply Tania Potter September 14, 2017 at 6:12 am

    Hold on to your hat, Alison, I come from a family with tomato allergies! Not everyone has it but we are all a bit careful about how often we indulge, just in case. Having never slow roasted a tomato, I must say, that does look like a genuis suggestion. Love the myth busting too. Great post!

  • Reply Kimberly September 14, 2017 at 6:19 am

    I just saw the comment above me and OH MY that has to be so difficult to be allergic to tomatoes! I woudnl’t even know that to do! I love tomatoes. We don’t have a garden though until we got a dog and he used to pluck all the green tomatoes off of the vines. We couldn’t find a solution so we nixed the garden. Fresh ones are the best though!

  • Reply Amber Myers September 14, 2017 at 7:30 am

    Yum, I do love my tomatoes. My son doesn’t like them and I think he’s nuts. How can one not like a tomato? I love mine in a salad, a sandwich, a burger….honestly, anywhere!

  • Reply Candy September 14, 2017 at 7:40 am

    We have canned stewed tomatoes, salsa, spaghetti sauce, chili sauce, pizza sauce and dehydrated tomatoes into powder. Doesn’t count all the fresh tomatoes we have eaten.

  • Reply Sean M. September 14, 2017 at 8:40 am

    I don’t think I’ve eaten a fresh tomato in so long! I definitely need to after reading this though. Thanks for the hard work and the good ideas!

  • Reply Miranda C Nash September 14, 2017 at 8:46 am

    This is perfect timing for me!!! I just got an awesome recipe from a friend of mine for the most delicious salsa I have ever tasted and it calls for peeled tomatoes. I was like ummmm how the heck to I peel a delicate tomato?! Well, now I know! 🙂 Thank you!

  • Reply Amanda September 14, 2017 at 9:51 am

    I love tomatoes so this post was right up my alley. I think we are nearing the end of tomato season in our garden and I am so bummed. But thankfully I have a deep freezer so I can make lots of batches of tomato sauce and salsa and save them for winter!

  • Reply Sarah Bailey September 14, 2017 at 10:23 am

    I have to admit I am a funny one with tomatoes I don’t like them as they come put a good tomato sauce I am all over. Definitely, need to check out your ideas!

  • Reply Star Harford September 14, 2017 at 10:43 am

    I love tomatos! I am feeling really proud of myself right now because I have managed to keep a small cherry tomato plant alive for six weeks (Im rubbish with plants!) and we have one cherry tomato a week from it!

  • Reply Laura September 14, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    Ahh tomatoes, my arch nemesis! I don’t mind tomato sauce, and even sun dried tomatoes, but uncooked tomatoes are a huge dislike of mine, I can’t eat anything that has even touched one!

  • Reply Sarah Honey September 14, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    I was allergic to tomatoes too! However, after a year of not eating them and avoiding everything with tomato in it. We moved and my new doctor retested me to make the appropriate mixture for my allergy shots. I tested that I was no longer allergic must have been a false positive! I’ve been eating them ever since with no issues!

  • Reply Pam September 14, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    I love fresh summer tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes are my favorite. They’re just so flavorful.

  • Reply Tonya Wilhelm September 14, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    I wish I was more like you. I so want to cook healthy for myself, but just don’t do it. Tomatoes, my dog loooves them! He stomps his feet when I’m cutting them up. Yes, I’m bad and toss him a handful.

  • Reply Prateek Goel September 15, 2017 at 4:28 am

    These tomatoes are so eye-catching and refreshing! I just love tomatoes.
    I just loved to read those fun food thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply Anosa September 15, 2017 at 7:31 am

    I must confess I love my tomatoes rip and juicy and have them with my english breakfast and most of them time i like them slightly salty.

  • Reply Louise September 15, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    I laughed way too much at that first quote! LOL. I’m going to pin it to one of my Pinterest boards so I can look at it and smile to myself when I’m next feeling low 🙂

    Louise x

  • Reply Natalie September 15, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    You and I share a love for tomatoes! I’ve been picking some from my garden, there’s nothing quite like them!

  • Reply Kathryn Maher September 15, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    I have a great affection for home grown tomatoes. First off you can grow them in Ireland quite successfully even outdoors. There’s a miniature type plant popular here that is grown in summer in hanging baskets and produces lots of tiny sweet cherry tomatoes. I love them so much and remember sitting in my mam’s greenhouse waiting for her to come home happily munching away on them.

  • Reply Melanie May September 15, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    Love this post as I am a huge tomato fan. I probably eat more tomatoes than any other food. I love them sliced up with leaves of fresh basil and slices of mozzarella. So simple but so tasty.

  • Reply Kristen September 15, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    I just happen to have a bowl full of perfect, dead ripe summer tomatoes, which I’ll be slicing and combining with golden beets (cooked yesterday for this purpose), with a light, mustardy vinaigrette.

    I’m not sure why you don’t see beets paired with tomatoes more often – the combination really works!

  • Reply Sean M. September 15, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    This post makes me want to go to my local farmers market right now and buy some tomatoes! Thank you for providing so many ideas for healthy eating! I’ll have to let you know when I try some of these.

  • Reply Jennifer L September 15, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Oh I wish I had a bowl of ripe tomatoes right about now. I just used up my last ones two days ago by making a marinara sauce for a turkey meatloaf. It was my goodbye summer…hello fall dish.

  • Reply Vicky September 16, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    I have to be honest that I don’t go to the farmers market as much as I would like to! I love this post though because the picture of the tomatoes at the market is just beautiful in the colour variance. I would likely make tomato soup with it. So yum!

  • Reply Anastasia September 16, 2017 at 6:27 pm

    Consider me inspired. I love tomatoes, cook everything at home, used tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes in most of the dishes. How come I didn’t grow them before? Just have some herbs growing like basil, few types of mint, Etc.

  • Reply Brit September 16, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    I love tomatoes. They are great in by themselves, or in sandwiches or salads. I really love them with salt and pepper. I tried to grow tomatoes this year. It didn’t end well. But I am determined to try again.

  • Reply Margarette Puno September 17, 2017 at 2:40 am

    I really love tomatoes. I put them in sandwiches or in fried meat or fried chicken. They say that it is also good in skin.

  • Reply Diana September 17, 2017 at 9:18 pm

    What a perfectly timely post! I have a dining room table full of tomatoes that are begging to be used sooner than later. Our CSA had a pick-all-you-want tomato day and we may have gotten ahead of ourselves. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply Jajwalya September 21, 2017 at 4:07 am

    Tomato #1: Slice, salt and eat straight.

    Tomatoes #2: Top with fresh basil, chives or tarragon, on a piece of garlic rubbed sourdough toast, with a bit of mozzarella, and drizzled with balsamic or red wine vinegar.

    And sometimes all of the above, even all at once!

  • Reply Lila September 27, 2017 at 1:48 am

    I love, love, love slow-roasting summer tomatoes. What to I do with them?

    Namely, anything. Dorie Greenspan uses hers as a pasta picker-upper, or stores them in the fridge covered in olive oil, laying them over chicken, salmon, tuna or mixed vegetables. Heidi at 101 Cookbooks puts them in salsa. And I put them … in my mouth. Or mix them with white beans or slivers of basil. Or in my mouth. Or in salad. But mostly in my mouth.

    Love this series Ali, you’re the best!

  • Reply Chubskulit Rose September 28, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    The salad we look forward to every year involves tossing some shaggy ripped up chunks of sour dough bread with grated garlic/olive oil and toasting them in the oven, salted. Then you cut or tear up a mixture of heirloom tomatoes and toss them with the croutons and torn up pieces of fresh mozzarella (hopefully homemade) and some chile flakes. The dressing is a bunch of blanched basil pureed with olive oil. This is an AMAZING salad 🙂

  • Reply Parker September 28, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    There’s no better combo than beautifully ripe tomatoes with fresh mozzarella di buffala and fresh cut basil topped with a splash of quality Olive Oil and seasalt….you got it! Insalata Caprese!! Bennissimo!

  • Reply Duska September 29, 2017 at 5:47 am

    Sliced tomatoes on soft bread, with homemade mayo and topped with thinly sliced cucumbers, a pinch of kosher salt and a strong grind of black pepper. Heaven in a summer sandwich. Served with a cold, cold glass of milk.

  • Reply Lena September 29, 2017 at 6:53 am

    My grandma taught me there’s no better combination than a beautifully ripe tomato with fresh mozzarella di buffala, fresh cut basil, and a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt. As she would say: Insalata Caprese!! Bennissimo! x

  • Reply DASH ☀️ October 1, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    Grew up in southern Taiwan dipping wedges of fresh ripe tomatoes in a mixture of grated ginger, thick soy sauce and icing sugar. The ginger is a must!

  • Reply Rebekah October 3, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    I recently made your recipe for Shasakwa (Eggs poached in tomato sauce). Our out-of-town guests requested it more than once. Plus, we get the bonus of walking out to the garden early in the morning to pick the tomatoes. Love your blog, Ali. x

  • Reply Angie October 3, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    At our house, tomatoes are considered a complete salad. When they’re at their peak, the only requirement is taking a bite! x

  • Reply Maggie October 5, 2017 at 3:32 am

    My husband’s favorite (and only recipe he knows):
    Sliced tomatoes + thinly sliced cucumbers + onions in sweetened cider vinegar (1/2 vinegar, 1/2 sugar and a splash of water.) His mother taught him and I love that much more because of it

  • Reply Amber October 6, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    Slice open French bread, spread with butter, sprinkle with garlic powder and salt. Lay on sliced tomatoes and Italian herbs, then slices of mozzarella. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake at 375 for 15 min. Tomato bread! A gift from the heavens! xx

  • Reply Sreekar October 23, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Loved the recipe as always. But mostly I loved the intro. Amazing and creative! Always jealous of your recipes!

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