Friday, August 04, 2006

Tomatoes, Pomodori, Tomate

Did you ever have sugar-plums dancing in your head – and your mouth watering, waiting for one to drop in? That happened to me just a few days ago and in my head were dancing not sugar-plums - but heirloom tomatoes. They are bigger, plumper, and much more colorful than sugar-plums, good as they are. And just think what you can do with them. Simply drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, cracked pepper, a pinch of sea salt, and there is a dish to set before a king. A nice mess of chopped basil on top makes it even more kingly.

I was so taken with heirloom tomato season that I went to our local Fillmore Farmers’ Market on a recent Saturday morning. Everybody who goes is in such a good mood, and friendly. There must have been eight different types of heirlooms, and I bought some of all of them. Tomato-greedy is a good thing. Afterwards, I wrote a piece for our neighborhood newspaper New Fillmore. I took some pictures at the market and was actually complimented by my editors on their quality. In case I forget to tell you; they liked my writing, too. If you can get a copy of the New Fillmore get it to read my story, but there is lots of other good stuff to read as well.

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I had also bought Japanese eggplant, and baby zucchini for dinner along with the kingly tomatoes. My, what a treat that was. I grilled the veggies and sprinkled them with garlic and a bit of chopped anchovy. Along with bruschetta and a bottle of big and dark red Montepulciano d’Abruzzo wine the meal was as good as it gets. Meat? Maybe next time after heirloom tomato season.

For dessert we had more bruschetta topped with dead ripe Mission figs and Bing cherries. Of course a bit more of the Montepulciano was handy so we had that, too.

Go to your local fresh market and make a meal like this one and just see how good you can feel – and drink a toast to yourself, but be sure to include me, too.

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