And Just Like That, the Tomatoes Have Arrived

They’re here! The slicing tomatoes are here!

Yeah, sure, we’ve been enjoying the bite-sized determinates since June, and they are good. I won’t deny that they have been swell. The first two Caprese salads of the season were dynamite. I will never forget them. But in all honesty, what started this weekend is The Show.

This is what I’ve been waiting for. I’ve intentionally held back on buying tomatoes these last months. Not at the supermarket and not even at the farmers’ markets. I wanted to make sure that the feeling of tomato deprivation was so great, that when the first slicers made their appearance, I would appreciate every bite. And they have. And I did.

The very first treat I made was a homemade bloody mary. That was good. So fresh and tangy. This afternoon I popped a bunch into the oven to roast. Tonight we’ll have roasted tomato soup for dinner. I’ve been dreaming about this for weeks.

And for lunch, I had my very favourite summer sandwich: Fried Egg with Basil and Tomato.

This is so easy to make I won’t trifle you with steps and an ingredients list. This is the sort of sandwich that changes with whatever you’ve got on hand. But the basics remain the same: eggs, basil, and a ripe heirloom slicing tomato.

Simply fry up some eggs however you like them. I like mine over-easy. I used duck eggs that we bought from a friendly Mennonite lady at the market on Saturday. Then you place it on toast: we had okay spelt bread so I used that. Then you add freshly picked basil leaves: I grow ‘Mammoth’ a lettuce leaf variety that produces gigantic, crinkly leaves. Some leaves can grow to be as big as an adult human hand — I reserve these specifically for sandwiches since you only need one.

Next add the tomato slices: as thick as you like. I think I used ‘Silvery Fir Tree’ a determinate variety that makes tasty, red, slicers although I can’t be sure since I mixed it in with a few other red determinates that are indistinguishable. I grew three of this variety this year — it’s a wonderful container producer and a pretty plant to boot. However, I am extra pleased with the performance of one plant in particular that is absolutely laden with fruit. Again, it has got to be that duck manure!

Enjoy your sandwich with a generous sweep of your preferred condiment. I like mayo.

p.s. I took all of these photos with my phone because I was too lazy to go to my office and fetch my camera. Summertime!

p.s.s. I just found out that the cover of my next book has been released! Photo by my partner Davin Risk and design by us. Exciting times!

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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17 thoughts on “And Just Like That, the Tomatoes Have Arrived

  1. Right now, I’m on the popular tomatoes-at-every-meal diet. Instead of looking lean, I’m afraid that I’m a scant red and a little round.

    I avoided tomatoes the last few months as well except for Mexican Midgets, which blushed shortly after your bite-sized babies.

  2. MMM lovely tomatoes! We still have several weeks until ours will be ready – I’ve only enjoyed about 5 cherry tomatoes so far, but they have been awesome! I also LOVE the book cover – can’t wait until it comes out.

  3. My Silvery Fir Tree did produce a whack of Tomatoes last Season, this year Old German is my big producer. My Fav. this year would be Italian Heirloom and Juannes Flamme. The Duck Eggs i have never tried those i think i might make a trek to the market later this week. I was thinking more like club-house with Back Bacon, Chedder, Basil and Mayo.

  4. I’ve had crazy big piles of tomatoes for a couple of weeks now. I’ll have to try the fried egg thing. Last night was a lazy-woman version of a caprese pizza at casa mia.

    It is like the difference in kool-aid vs. a great glass of chilled thprosecco on a hot day, the grocer vs. real ones, isn’t it?

  5. Eeee! Last night I proclaimed: We are having BLTs tomorrow!!!
    Same as you, plenty o’ cherry tomatoes, but I have one ripe slicing tomato that’ll be perfect today. Been waiting sooooo long for it!
    And those that you have are GORGEOUS – especially love the berry-tinged ribbed one… oh goodness. I hope that soup comes out delicious!
    You know, I own your other two books, nothing is stopping me from getting the third! Mwahahhaa…. Very cute cover, also! I adore how you cleverly hide behind delicious plants and flowers [the one in Grow Great Food w/ the lettuce box is still my favorite.]

  6. Hello Gayla ,
    Up to my knees in tomatoes and the plants look better then they have in years. Did you see our article in Martha’s Whole Living Magazine?
    Tim Mountz
    Happy Cat Farm

  7. Tim: No, I don’t read the mag. Is it in the issue currently on newsstands? Did you write or are you featured?

    Randy: Yes, having whatever we want, whenever we want ruins the thrill of anticipation… and most of that stuff isn’t nearly as good off-season.

  8. WOW – Can I trade you 10 million Romas for one of those?! Our Tigerella plant did well, and our Roma plant did AMAZING – but unfortunately my “yellow rainbow” heirlooms didn’t make it. These look incredible!

  9. I’m munching on my favourite BLT as I’m reading this … which has just made the savouring of it that much better – wOot & thanks!

  10. Ciao Gayla-

    As ever, I’m so very proud of you! That’s fantastic – I’ll probably do my usual Purchase From The Author at the 2012 Seedy Saturday ;o)

    This weekend, the canning begins in earnest. I’ve got crispers full of cucumbers, eggplants, and summer squash plus trays of tomatoes well out of reach of the carpet tigers. The hollow stuffer tomatoes are just starting to ripen so it’s time for chopped Greek Salad!

  11. I made that tomatoe, basil, egg and mayo 3 times this week. Yummy. Going to make one more before Jersey Shores starts.

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