By Brooke Marshall
Has anyone else noticed the days getting shorter this week? Well, that means, among other things, that tomato season is coming to an end. Tomatoes are arguably my favorite fruit. What’s not to love, they make great sandwiches, soups, salads, and sauces. And how’s that for alliteration!
I’ve eaten my fair share of tomatoes this season, slicers, pastes, grape, heirlooms, and cherry. Of all these tomatoes, though, there was one to rule them all. An heirloom tomato from Taproot Farm. I arrived late to market one day and found this ginormous tomato at the Taproot stand. It was a little intimidating, so I understood why it was still there. I had to get it though. I had planned to make an heirloom tomato salad and I was sure this tomato was all I needed. When I purchased said tomato, Ola, whose cheery smile lights up the Taproot Farm stand, was so excited someone was finally buying their “blue ribbon tomato”. So I left the stand proud to have bought the largest tomato I have ever seen and make my salad. That wasn’t the end of the conversation though. Someone else at market had bought a similar tomato, albeit a little smaller. They had left it at the Claybrick Farms stand. Ola said, “That’s Brooke’s tomato.” So Steve, of Claybrick, approached me thinking I had left it at his stand. I insisted it wasn’t “my tomato” and pulled my blue ribbon tomato out of my market bag to prove it. When another vendor saw it, she said, “You could make a tomato sandwich out of a slice of that.” Well, anyone who knows my love of tomato sandwiches, knows that I couldn’t pass up that suggestion. I eat tomato sandwiches all tomato-season long. If I’m eating alone, they never make it onto a plate. I eat them right off the cutting board.
So I began constructing my mammoth tomato sandwich. I really wish I could describe the size of this tomato. Pictures don’t do it justice, even though I tried.
First I sliced the tomato.
Then the tomato sandwich happened and it was oh so delicious.
But, what to do with the rest of this monstrous heirloom? Well, I made that salad too, with fresh mozzarella, basil, salt, olive oil, and balsamic.
Still the blue ribbon tomato bested me. I couldn’t finish it all.
While I’m sure not everyone bought a blue ribbon tomato this season, I’m curious what you did with your’s. Here are a couple of other things I made with more moderately-sized tomatoes.
A lovely salad with heirloom tomatoes, peaches, and avocado, recipe courtesy of dolly & oatmeal.
And my first ever southern tomato pie. My Dad mentioned these to me in a recent phone conversation and I had some leftover tomatoes after canning my last batch of sauce. So I thought, why not give it a try.
Whatever you’ve done with your tomatoes, I hope you enjoyed yours as much as I did mine. Here’s to next season!
Brooke Marshall is a market volunteer, Ambler socialite and overall good egg. This season she will be the market’s resident locavore, turning market proceeds into culinary delights. If you see her at market, say hello. And if you make one of her recipes, bring it to market for her approval. Only kidding about the last part.