September has not been very kind.
It has been cool and wet resulting in heaps of unripe tomatoes. I was so hopeful last spring when happily planting my tomato seeds.
Seeds with names like Olga’s Round Yellow Chicken, Pritchard’s Scarlet Topper, Eva Purple Ball, Silvery Fur Tree, and, of course, the not to be missed Wapsipinicon Peach.
Last season I had loads of Cleota Pink; a large pink tomato which tolerates extreme heat making it suitable for our hot Okanagan climate. This season the Cleota Pink is under represented – in fact, it is not represented at all. Also missing in action is the Grand Belgium. Last summer we were drowning in beautiful, huge, orange beefsteaks. And I do mean huge – two pounds on average. Red Fig – also a no-show. I have so many green tomatoes it is hard for me to actually locate Aunt Ruby’s Green German; a large green beefsteak. Despite all the no-show tomatoes, I still have substantial tomato poundage and will be happily making sauce, salsa, tomato jam, and other tomato offerings which I will share on these pages. But for today…a simple hors d’oeuvre. This simple recipe requires good quality tomatoes grown yourself or purchased at your Farmer’s Market.
Tomatoes and Parmesan Toasts
Makes about 1 cup; 20 toasts. Serves four
1 pound tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves. minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for garnish
Toasted baguette rounds
1. Peel and seed tomatoes. I generally find heirloom tomatoes have a delicate skin and actually peel very easily without dipping them in boiling water to peel.
2. Heat oil in saute pan over medium heat and gently saute shallot until soft.
3. Add tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, bay leaf, and sugar. Gently cook for approximately 15 minutes. If your tomatoes are not paste tomatoes but rather contain a lot of tomato water, cook until this water evaporates leaving a thickened sauce.
4. Remove bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Spoon onto toasted rounds of baguette and finish with shredded parmesan cheese.
Next time…will they ripen?