It would be almost impossible for me not to post about my love of tomatoes! Where in the world would I be without them or where would the world be without them? My friend and author of many cookbooks, Marlena Spieler totally understands what I laughingly refer to as my addiction.
My husband often tells me we have tomatoes in some form or other every day…hmmm…he’s probably right. I can’t help it. I have always been adored the taste of tomatoes before I even knew of all their health benefits.
Growing up, my parents always grew a veggie garden. They didn’t have much money so this was super important. And as they both grew up on farms, they were very resourceful. There were tomatoes grown, always. A favorite snack was buttered toast with freshly sliced tomatoes, warmed by the sun, sprinkled with salt and pepper. So simple but sooo wonderful.
I was still living at home when I got my first job. The deal was that I had to pay room and board. My Mom asked me what foods I would like her to buy me every week. Thumbs down, no deliberation, tomatoes and butter. We always used margarine (yuk) except for special occasions/holidays and for tomatoes on toast. In those days I knew our own tomatoes were fantastic but because I can’t live without them I even buy them out of season! Shocking, I know!
Of course, to feed my desires, I grow tomatoes every summer. For years my Mom used to start them from seeds in her greenhouse . Now I have to search for the heirloom varieties (a lot easier these days with the farmer’s markets having a wide selection available). Last summer I grew San Marzano’s from seed; not a great experiment, probably due to the weather. I wouldn’t dream of not growing “Sun Golds”, my desert island cherry tomatoes and “Super Sweet 100’s. As we all know, you couldn’t possibly grow tomatoes and not grow basil too! What’s summer without pesto?
I often roast a number of pounds of roma tomatoes, tossed with EVOO, garlic and basil then roasted and stored in the freezer for use during the rest of the year. They make a great pizza topping, or pasta sauce or even on crostini with a bit of goat cheese.