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You like tomato and I like tomahto

  • August is boom time for tomatoes. PHOTO BY ANNIE CARD


Monday, August 15, 2016

Whether you are harvesting from your own garden, or buying from a local grower, August is boom time for tomatoes, eggplant, summer squash, potatoes and so much more.

Of course this all depends on whether you’ve been able to get enough water to your plants.

The drought has been challenging for us at Rosaly’s Garden, and I know it’s hurt backyard growers too. As long as I have been farming, I’ve never seen so little rain. Tomatoes are one of our biggest crops, so we take special care to ensure their success, laying miles of drip line, covering it with black plastic, and then planting the young tomato plants.

This allows us to direct water right to the roots without losing any water to evaporation.

I eat so many tomatoes. With my eggs in the morning, on salads, and when I have dinner guests, I like to start off with a big platter of sliced tomatoes, each topped with fresh mozzarella and one or two fresh basil leaves.

But baked tomatoes are delicious too. I like to serve them with smashed potatoes.

Baked Tomatoes with Croutons

This dish is easy to do, is delicious and adds nice color to a plate.

Choose small to medium sized tomatoes. Rinse the tomatoes, one per person. Cut a small slice off the bottom so the tomatoes will stay upright in a casserole or Pyrex dish. Next, cut a larger slice off the top, and place the croutons atop. I cheat and buy seasoned croutons with rosemary and garlic, but you can make your own. Place a thin pat of butter on top of the croutons on each tomato and put them in the oven. Check every 10 minutes or so in a 350 or 400 degree oven for 45 minutes or so until they are nicely browned.

Smashed Potatoes

Choose golf ball or slightly bigger potatoes (red or white) with the skins on. Rinse potatoes and cover with water in a pot. Bring to a boil for 15 to 20 minutes until a knife slides easily into them. Drain and allow the potatoes to cool.

Place them on a cookie sheet with low sides covered with foil. Grease the foil with olive oil. Place the potatoes on the cookie sheet. Using three fingers on each hand push down on each potato gently so it is smashed but not separated. Drizzle each potato with about a teaspoon of olive oil. Salt each potato and put the cookie sheet in a 350 or 400 degree oven for 45 minutes or so until browned.

Grilled Corn in the Husk

It’s important that the corn be fresh picked that day or the day before. When you are cooking meat, chicken or fish in the middle of the grill, place ears of corn around the outside. Cook for 10 or 15 minutes, turning once so it cooks on all sides.

You can also cook corn in the husk on a gas grill using a medium heat setting and placing the corn near the edges on the grill.

One last tip: Let your dinner mates husk their own corn. It’s so good you don’t need butter!

 

Rosaly Bass is founder of Rosaly’s Garden, New Hampshire’s oldest/largest certified organic farm.