Friday, June 13, 2014

Marinated Tomatoes

Fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped and marinated in a herb vinaigrette. Serve as is, spoon over a mixed garden salad, use as a garnish with grilled meats, or spoon over individual plates of plain shredded lettuce.

Marinated Tomatoes

With the big move to our new home, I planted a little late this year, and just picked the first of my homegrown tomatoes off the vine in my backyard. They will soon be part of my annual summer ritual.

This year, I was short on time to dig a garden or set up raised beds like before, so I just did a few containers of tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets and planted some herbs, beans and cucumbers right outside the patio door.

I know that some of you will disagree with my method, but you'll notice that I like to pluck mine early, and for me, that's when they are just beginning to show a blush of color. Then I let them complete the ripening process in a sunny windowsill.

Tomatoes are one fruit that once picked will continue to ripen, and frankly, tastes exactly the same as if you'd left it on the vine. Because I also love having lots of birds around and I keep several feeders in the yard for them, it's insurance that I beat them to my precious homegrown tomatoes, because once they begin to color, trust me, the birds will happily lead the race.

Those have only been in the window for 2 days and have already taken on quite a lot of color since I picked them thanks to the sun! This window is in my new Deep South Dish home office and has a western exposure, but the insulated windows means that my tomatoes will ripen, rather than bake, in this hot Southern sun. Keep that in mind with the site you choose for window ripening!

The ritual begins with the first ripe tomato - simply sliced, on a plate, doused with kosher salt and plenty of black pepper, with a dab of Duke's mayo on the side.

Next, the perfect thick sliced tomato sandwich, with plenty of salt, pepper and Duke's, on white bread, consumed most often standing over the kitchen sink with juices dripping down my arms. Heaven.

Not far after, I will enjoy my favorite grilled cheese sandwich made with very thinly sliced, raw sweet Vidalia onion and slices of homegrown tomatoes, sandwiched in between Cheddar or American cheese and pan grilled. A side of fresh, homemade tomato soup is always welcome, even in the summer. If you have never had tomato soup made with summer tomatoes, you must remedy that now, I insist!

These marinated tomatoes are another one of the many summer salads that I enjoy this time of year. They are great just as they are, when used as a garnish with grilled meats, or spooned over individual plates of plain shredded lettuce. Heck, I've even used them in an omelet! On occasion, it's also great to add in a bit of cubed Mozzarella or Bocconcini - the small Mozzarella balls.

I like to keep a bowl of these tomatoes constantly circulating in my fridge during the summer when tomatoes are peaking and abundant in the garden, often with some Vidalia onion thrown in, along with sliced up cucumber too, and just keep feeding it until I can tell the dressing needs to be refreshed.

Remember though, tomatoes don't much like refrigeration, so consume them, don't just store them!

Summer in a bowl.

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Posted by on June 13, 2014
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