Cookbook Giveaway – and no, it’s not random

Save the Tomatoes: Inspire Me to Eat Them!

I think this may be it. The tables at the farmer’s markets have been buckling under the weight of winter squash and pumpkins, apples, potatoes and dried beans, while summer’s fruits have become scarcer and scarcer each week.  It’s the natural ebb of things of course and I can’t be sad about it (well, maybe a little).  I’m ready for the turning inward that all this end-of-season produce signifies.

But I did snag two beautiful tomatoes at the market this week, and suddenly it feels like a lot of pressure. I don’t expect there will be any more after this, and so I fret. How, oh how, do I use the last two tomatoes of the season? What could happen is that I won’t.

See, you should know this about me: I’m the sort who lets the beetroots wilt, the piment d’espelette dry out and lose its flavor and the pricey boquerones go way, way past their use-by date. Why? Because if I eat them then they’ll be all gone, and I can’t stand that.

I didn’t say it was reasonable. Anyway, please don’t let me do that with these two gorgeous, fully ripe tomatoes.  I want to use them well. I want to celebrate them. I desperately need your inspired help.

The Cookbook Giveway:

I have a copy of In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite to send to the person who posts the idea that convinces me to sink the knife in.  (If you didn’t catch my review of the book, here it is again). Leave me a comment with your brilliant idea. What’s the perfect last tomato supper?

This won’t be a random drawing from comments though; it will be an utterly subjective choice, based on which recipe/dish sounds good to me. Just remember when you make your suggestions that we don’t eat meat (but we are pescetarian so fish is fair game).

I’d guess that these tomatoes have two more really good days, so let’s say that your suggestions have to be made by Saturday morning (Oct. 16) at 10:00 a.m. Central Standard Time. So tell me, what would you do? What’s a great dish that will bring out the flavor of the last two tomatoes of the season? Inspire me. And, as I say to my students, bonus points for amusing me.

19 Responses to “Cookbook Giveaway – and no, it’s not random”

  1. Naomi says:

    Our favorite last tomato meal is spaghetti no knife, a Martha Stewart recipe.
    You need some fresh mozzerella, two large fresh juicy ripe, delicious tomatos, fresh basil, olive oil, oregano ( small amt,fresh if you can), garlic, salt and pepper.

    Boil your spag. In a bowl break up the cheese, tomato’s ( I use a knife), crush garlic, add olive oil tear or chop basil and oregano add olive oil salt and pepper, stir together and taste test now, but stop you need to wait for the spaghetti!
    When spag. is cooked drain and toss with rest. You can add some crushed dry red pepper if you want some heat .

  2. Becky says:

    Naomi — thank you for the first suggestion! I probably should have mentioned that while it’s been a terrible year for produce in our garden, we are rich with herbs — basil still, oregano, marjoram, chives, rosemary, tarragon — just about all of them are out there somewhere. So yes, bring on the herbs. Also, I do have a gallon of raw milk that I’m planning to morph into fresh mozzarella.

  3. tcohoe says:

    Well, your fresh mozzarella would have me alternating slices of mozzarella and those gorgeous tomatoes on a festive plate (something that still says summer?), drizzle with a good oil (something flavoured perhaps?), a little basil for sure, maybe an array of herbs, a little salt and pepper and you’re done. Well, except for the glass of wine that you still need to pour.

  4. linz says:

    This is exciting! Whichever recipe you choose, I say to be wary of recipes that include much more than olive oil and salt. Here is an idea that includes just a bit more

    Cut your tomatoes in half, and grate each half down to its skin on a box grater. Put the grated tomato over a strainer just enough to let off a bit of the liquid. Now, toast a couple of slices of baguette, spoon your grated tomato on top, drizzle on a generous amount of olive oil, then top with basil, salt, and pepper.

    And because it would be a shame to waste any part of these last two tomatoes, take those ugly empty tomato skins and spoon a quivering orb of your raw milk mozzarella into each one. Run it under the broiler perhaps, or just eat it raw, sprinkled with chopped chives, and drizzled with a vinaigrette made from the extra tomato juices, olive oil, salt and pepper.

  5. Dean says:

    Nothing better than some Bruschetta, or one of my favorites a simple greek salad, Tomatoes, cucumber, onions in a Vinegar and olive oil dressing with oregano.

    Long season for me since my tomatoes were a total failure this season.


  6. Kaye Winterbauer says:

    To best taste a beautiful, ripe, flavorful tomato, we like to make BLT’s–which obviously won’t work for you. But another option we like is layered on a grilled cheese on artisan bread. Or perhaps you might like your favorite cold salad–rice, macaroni, tuna, quinoa–stuffed in a quartered and yummy tomato. Hopefully you can tell I like for the tomato to be the star here and to keep it simple. Whatever you choose, enjoy!

  7. Gilda92 says:

    “Ooooh” she moaned. A free cookbook! And a good one…Here goes.
    Here is one of Nigel Slater’s takes on a salad of bread and tomatoes:
    Toast thin slices of sourdough bread on a grill till the centres are crisp and the outsides blackish here and there. Pour olive oil–he says “very green and fruity”–over the tomatoes with some torn basil and a little wine vinegar, a very very thinly sliced clove of garlic, salt and pepper. The toast is rubbed with a cut clove of garlic and then torn into pieces. Put the tomatoes and their juices into a deep dish, add the toast, then toss briefly before eating. (I’m loosely quoting his recipe here.)

    This fills my need for something to go with the tomatoes that has a crisp texture. It is so good. (As are most of his suggestions in Tender-Volume I-Vegetables. I just got Volume II-Fruit but it’s late in the fruit season up here in Canada–mostly just apples now.)

  8. Alanna says:

    Just one word — FIRE.

    With a little help from Fire-Charred Tomatoes.

  9. Lisa says:

    I think the best way to truly celebrate these tomatoes is in a tomato sandwich. You just need bread, sliced tomatoes, mayo, and a little salt and black pepper. These sandwiches will truly let the flavor of your tomatoes shine through so that you can enjoy them to the fullest without masking them.

  10. I have the same kind of issue with not wanting to use all of something precious because then it will be gone. Glad I’m not alone in that! I think you should savor these lovely tomatoes. Slow roast slices so they can last a little longer. You can pack a few of them in olive oil and store them, and go ahead and eat a few slices with an olive paste on top like this:

  11. Barbara says:

    I would suggest Tomatoes sardines and clams hot bread.
    You need your two beautiful tomatoes and even 100g of anchovies, 10 clams, 10 g of bread crumbs, some capers in vinegar, 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, paprika, chives and salt.
    Peels tomatoes, drain seeds and divide into segments. Open the clams in a covered pot and creeps them. Arrange in a dish sardines, tomatoes, clams and capers, add the oil and a pinch of salt. Mix the bread cut into cubes with a pinch of paprika. Put the bread in the pan, add the oil and a bit ‘of chopped chives. Bake at 200° C for 5′, then turn on the grill and leave for an ‘au gratin’, until the bread is golden brown.
    Whatever recipe you choose to make, these tomatoes have a really delicious air, and then all will be perfect!

  12. Manda says:

    Soup – especially since it is getting colder. If it is still warm in your area, however, I’d recommend going towards a chilly zesty gazpacho, even though your garden seems not up to par. And, if that really is the case, simply create a roasted creamy tomato bisque with maybe just a kiss of pesto. Of course, you can jazz it up with other spices from different countries but, as some mentioned above, to savor the tomatoes – it is better left for them to do the rest.

  13. Eileen says:

    I’d stuff them with some of your fresh mozzarella and garden herbs, maybe some capers, and toasted sourdough crumbs. Drizzle with olive oil and bake, then drizzle again with olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Heating them up will release the juices and bring out all the flavor.

  14. Adrian says:

    I say pizza! Bake the juices into a thick crust. There seem to be allot of variations on tomatoes, mozarella and herbs here. It seems that some version of this is the way to go.

  15. Jennifer says:

    Around here, end of season tomatoes are not as juicy and flavorful as those we get in July and August. I think that they don’t shine as well in bread salad or tom & moz slices. My favorite fall tomato recipe is orzo with arugula, tomatoes and pine nuts. The balsamic vinegar sparks up the taste of the tomatoes that can be a little demure this time of year.

    .5 c. orzo
    3 teaspoons good olive oil
    1.5 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
    your 2 tomatoes
    1 to 1.5 cup coarsely chopped arugula (in season now!)
    2 Tbs. fresh basil leaves chopped
    2 Tbs pine nuts toasted.
    salt & pepper to taste.

    Cook orzo to al dente. Drain and mix with oil and vinegar. Cool for a couple minutes. Mix in everything else and eat with abandon.

  16. Joan says:

    I think you definitely should eat it raw since it’s the last tomato and you want to savor the flavor. I would make a tomato sandwich. Can’t beat it with mayo on bread and you can always add some basil since basil and tomatoes just go together.

  17. sharon says:

    Grab those tomatoes, grab a loved one(s), go out to the deck or patio, grab a chair, put your feet up and sink your teeth into those last tomatoes. Eat it like a peach. Savor every bit of its flavor, bite by bite, juices dripping down your chin. Revel in the glory of summer, the sun, the rain, the wind, simplicity. Give thanks and a nudge to the tomato fairies that they bring you more next summer.

  18. beth marquis says:

    hey there,
    just discovered your site … i too am a BIG bean lover. So i have the best thing to do with your tomatoes altho sadly, i think i’m too late. you might have already cut into them. i would, to truly savor the last bite of summer, give them a rough chop and set aside in a bowl. meanwhile, saute a few cloves of sliced garlic in really good olive oil for a few minutes but not browned. then toss in the tomatoes and cook them for about five minutes till they smell yummy. then pour over spaghetti (trader joe’s pasta is delish and has a kind of nutmeg-gy taste) with a bit of the same good oil over the top. Top off with a handful of fresh chopped from your garden basil. heaven! oops. don’t forget some great parmagiana reggiano but not necessary.

  19. lo says:

    I’m dying to know, Becky – what did you do with those luscious tomatoes? ;)

    How is married life treating you?? So glad to see you’re blogging again (you were missed). I’ll have to put you on my regular rotation!!