So Many Tomatoes, So Little Time

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Actually, this may be the week. The market this past Saturday could take your breath away with its flowers alone. Tuberoses are late but finally here and there were also the most remarkable fuchsia colored sweet williams. It looks like the tomato cornmeal tart will take it's place on the menu along side the tomato and watermelon salad and the cold baked tomato soup. Then there is still the occasional heirloom tomato plate and cherry tomatoes of every color, shape and flavor are tucked everywhere. Clearly, we're having a bumper season. That goes for other crops as well. Our pole bean and field pea salad has become our field pea vinaigrette with pole beans as the season progresses. (I have never had so many field peas, and I didn't have to shell any of them!) We are never without cucumbers. I think that the blackberries have finally run their course. Yesterday, I had to compete with angry catbirds for the last remaining cup or two. To make up for this, there are now many varieties of blueberry that ripen in late summer. Perhaps I'll bring back the blueberries with lemon mousse. Its portrait used to grace the cover of our dessert menu.

Corn continues to be nice. I have stolen a recipe for pickled corn on the cob from Susie Williamson after I had it at her Fourth of July party. The recipe calls for pineapple juice and chipotle peppers. As luck would have it, Amanda Barr had just brought me a bagful of them from Oaxaca, where she had been visiting her mother. Then there are also cucumbers and onions, another reliable side dish, almost unnoticed because it is so simple.

It often happens that the surfeit of tomatoes vanish overnight, suddenly leaving great gaps in the menu. Happily the vegetables of late summer await. Eggplant comes to mind. At this morning's market there were the first pumpkins.

posted by Bill Smith at 4:01 PM


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