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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tomato Harvest

While the rest of the country is just getting warmed up for summer produce, Florida has already finished its tomato, cucumber, and corn season for the spring. June brings us fresh blueberries, and the rest of the summer is pretty much survival of the fittest. The good news is we get to do this all over again in about 4 months.

I often compare our summers to winter up north. Locals get smart and huddle inside away from the heat of the day and scorching sun. We know better. We save our “inside projects” for the summer when the weather outside is unbearable. During cooler months, it’s hard to keep a Floridian inside for 10 minutes.

See, just like Northerners. We’re just flip-flopped!

My tomato harvest this spring was very successful. I only grow about 8-10 plants and that’s plenty for the two of us. I’ve played around for the past couple of seasons by not keeping track of what I was growing, but last fall and this spring I kept notes. This season I planted Better Boy and was very happy. I grow only in containers as I have found the plants do much better this way. I have more control over their water content, fertilizer, and pest control. I also found I’ve had no incidents (knock-on-wood) with four-legged critters when growing maters in pots.

Anyway, the best thing to do with a tomato is eat it fresh! My preference is sliced with fresh basil, mozzarella, good olive oil, and a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. But I also adore a simple little dish I call Tomato Zucchini Gratin, which is basically layers of fresh sliced zucchini and tomatoes with fresh, minced garlic, olive oil, and herbs sprinkled in between the layers. Top with a basic cracker crumb and butter topping and bake for an hour at 350°. Yum!

Tomato Zucchini Gratin

1 comment:

C Jane said...

Fresh tomatoes are also great on sandwiches with just mayo, salt and pepper. My plants are just starting to produce - I'm in SC - and I can't wait for good 'mater sandwiches!

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