The Fruits of Summer

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This year’s tomato harvest started with a trickle of red fruit – one cherry tomato every few days. And that was if I could beat the deer to them. I can’t tell you how many tomatoes I picked that had one dainty bite out of the side. We have a small family of a doe and her two fawns that have adopted our neighborhood. They are so comfortable that they relax in the shade of the trees in the afternoons. Bucolic suburbs, anyone?

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We haven’t seen the deer as much lately. I guess our neighbors have tastier offerings in their yards. Fine with me. We finally have had a couple of substantial tomato harvests. I actually had to get a bowl the other day, instead of holding the red bounty in my hands. In fact, I had to get two bowls and they were both overflowing. I spent a little time gloating over the piles of red lusciousness before taking them inside.

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As often is the case we didn’t deal with the harvest right away. I was stumped over the best way to use our many, many cherry tomatoes. They are nuggets of summer tomato tastiness, but they do have a high ratio of skins and seeds to flesh, which makes them slightly problematic in sauce.

After two days of sliced tomatoes and quick sautéed pasta sauces, and after I noticed the first fruit fly, I had to do something. We had more tomatoes ripening every day. I settled on roasting as the most efficient method to deal with the bowls of red guilt that were covering my countertops.

I usually remove the skins after roasting, but I couldn’t see taking the time to peel all of the melting globs of cherry tomatoes. And then I would lose the caramelized, roasted skins, with all of their rich flavor. I decided to chuck the whole lot into the food processor, peels and all. It pureed into a thick, bright red sauce with dark flecks of toasted peels. I am already dreaming of pulling those bags of summer sunshine out of the freezer on a cold, dark December day.

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What is your favorite way to use vine-ripened, picked at the peak of freshness, summer tomatoes?

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8 thoughts on “The Fruits of Summer

  1. Oh, my goodness, looking at your pictures is making my mouth water! We have had terrible critter problems this year. Deer. Coons. Rabbits. Crows. Off of 12 plants, we’ve gotten about 12 tomatoes. Not an effort-to-yield ratio that I particularly like. And I don’t know anybody else around here who grows the good old-timey varieties and from whom I could snag a few. I feel plum out of luck! Cheated of one of the chief delights of summer. 😦 Those animals better have at least had the decency to enjoy them…

    • Thanks! My husband took the pics in this post – I’ll pass on the compliments. Our yield was dismal last year, and we were ready to give up a garden, but this year has re-energized us. I would share with you if I could!

  2. Sarah,
    Heather’s Cherry Tomato Pesto at In Her Chucks and my variations on Fresh Tomato Pesto! Best way to deal with lots and lots of cherry tomatoes.
    I’m going to can a small batch of crushed tomatoes, possibly tomorrow, possibly Monday, because I’ve got plenty and more are ripening each day. I found the canned crushed tomatoes to be so versatile last year that I’ll still make my favorite spaghetti sauce and freeze it, but the rest will be canned.
    Thanks–and yes I agree, lovely photos.

    • Kirsten,
      Thanks! And thanks for the tomato pesto ideas. I picked a bunch more tomatoes yesterday, so I am looking for more ways to use them. I might have to can a few. So far I have room enough in the freezer for flat bags of sauce, but it will start to fill up, I know.

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