Sunday 4 October 2015

Late toms.



One of the disadvantages of living in town must be the unavailability of tomatoes such as the above; the final few fruits from a huge summer crop.

To the average urban dweller they probably look like unripe and mangy fruits; not something that you'd expect to find at Waitrose.

In fact they are probably the most tasty tomatoes of the year; especially when not 100% ripe. Trimmed and sliced, with a simple vinaigrette, there is nothing nicer for a warm Autumn day's lunch. 

The Italians are very fond of their tomatoes semi-ripe, and it was there that I first encountered eating them like this, the flavour seems to be accentuated by the greenness.







41 comments:

  1. I agree... they are the best.

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  2. We've been eating ours like that.....sliced, with some torn bits of mozzarella and basil thrown in, sprinkled with sea salt, black pepper and balsamic vinegar. Delicious, one of my favourite lunches. Couldn't say that about shop bought toms.

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    1. Shop bought tomatoes are dreadful.... surely someone can produce some with some flavour!

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  3. Tomatoes in the Azores were like this. I heard somebody remark that they obviously like their tomatoes under ripe.

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    1. It must be a Mediterranean thing (and slightly into the Atlantic).

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  4. I have quite a few like that too.

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    1. I have a lot just now. It was 6 C here this morning, so maybe I'd better bring them ALL in before any frost gets to them.

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  5. These look delicious Tom - in the shops they are so uniform and so tasteless.

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    1. They're also a very good variety that was new to me this year; they're called 'Russe'.

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  6. The misshapen ones always taste the best. So envious of your tasty toms that I think I'll have a go next year - maybe just a few seeds in a big pot, and see how they go. 21º here when I took the dog out before 7 a.m. - wearing her new flashing collar ! The day is warming up nicely.

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    1. Where are you? It's freezing here in sunny sounthern France.

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    2. Over the border in Spain, on the Costa Blanca, in the foothills behind the coast. We're lucky that our winters are usually short, but can occasionally be very cold, though we rarely get snow or frost. As a sufferer from arthritis, I was told that Spain, with it's milder winters, was a better option than France, which was our first choice when we relocated.

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  7. I was about to ask you what they were called. Tomatoes like that would have been thrown out in shops here. I still have lots on the vine, but they are in the greenhouse. I am having trouble ripening the outdoor ones this year (same with the sweet corn and beans)
    Hope you managed to read my reply to your comment re. the butter beans.

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    1. I did yes; thank you. I've now grubbed-up all my tomato plants and they're hanging in a shed with the fruits slowly ripening. We should have fresh toms for another few weeks; then to my preserves.

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  8. I could sit and eat those tomatoes all day ...... and have been known to..... there's nothing nicer. The nearest that we can get to them is a Turkish shop that sells them for £2 a tray or Natoora tomatoes from Ocado.
    Clear blue skies here today Cro ..... I'm going to start putting the garden to bed. XXXX

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    1. I love tomato sandwiches. Just mustard, sliced toms, and salt-n-pepper on good country bread; delicious.

      I'm starting to tidy-up Haddock's too. A lot of work to do before winter.

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  9. I'll have to try them like that, sounds tasty! You more often find green, or semi-ripe tomatoes breaded and fried here. Contrary to the recipes usually found on the internet, don't use cornmeal, it gets all gummy and nasty.

    If you'd like to give it a go with a few of yours then slice the tomatoes 1/4" thick, dip in some beaten eggs, and then coat with a mixture of flour, cracker meal, and pepper. Fry until golden-brown on both sides. Serve hot, with a dollop of creme fraiche.

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    1. I have tried these, there was something of a fashion for them after the film of the same name. Very nice too.

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  10. Have you ever dehydrated (dried) your leftover tomatoes? They are a great way to enjoy tomatoes long after the season ends!

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    1. No I haven't. But I do lots of bottling during the glut season, and we also have loads of sauces in the freezer.

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  11. The ugly tomatoes are the best. I have been picking all week and although the past few days have been rainy and cool, warmth and sun will return on Tuesday. I am hoping that they will ripen, but if not, I will bag them and get to enjoy them for little while longer.

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    1. They usually ripen indoors. Mine certainly do.

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  12. I've never heard of eating underripe tomatoes before. What the hornworms and deer didn't eat this year, I was left with slim pickens. Have a few green ones on the counter I will have to try.

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    1. They're more semi-ripe. Half green, half red.

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  13. They look good, but then I like fried green tomatoes.

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  14. Our nearest Intermarché has been selling these...
    as special "artisinal" tomatoes....
    "d'antan" and naming the grower...
    and charging a very high price for them!!

    But I prefer the ones we've grown here...
    being further North, we aren't at the grubbing up stage...
    yet...
    but all plants have been "topped" so that they put their all into the fruit...
    the courgettes haven't stopped supplying yet, either!!
    So, you've bottled... we are bottlin' like crazy!!

    And are those homegrown nasturtium "capers" you've sprinkled on the prepared toms??
    They are one plant that just doesn't like it here...
    more's the pity... the whole plant is wonderful in salads!
    Tim

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    1. No, I'm afraid they're bog standard capers. I've never tried the Nasturtium ones, but, like you, I do like the leaves in a salad.

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    2. Not forgetting the flowers!
      And the seeds give a peppery bite in an Autumn salad.
      Just freeze them... as they appear.

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  15. It's pretty hard to beat homegrown produce for flavour (and the smug feeling when everything on your plate has just come out of the garden!)

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  16. I was going to comment in yesterdays post
    Some clever dick comment about being stung in the ring area

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  17. What fun it's been to read your post and the previous comments, all praising tomatoes that are able to ripen naturally. Grand to be able taste a tomato's taste when it's gotten to your favored ripeness. (Sort of like rare, medium, or...well, you know that third choice.)

    i am so glad to have access to fabulous farmers markets here in NYC. I never buy tomatoes from grocery stores. Besides having access to farmers market tomatoes that were picked very recently, and have wonderful flavors, there is a choice of particular species of tomatoes. Now that the air's getting chilly hereabouts, it won't be too much longer for local tomatoes. I'll go to the market on Wednesday and find out how many more weeks' worth of tomatoes the farmers predict.

    Of course, new apples are appearing every week now!

    Best wishes.

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    1. It's the one vegetable (fruit) that commercial growers just don't seem able to get right. If I am forced to buy ordinary tomatoes I'm always amazed by how tasteless they are.... how do they manage it!

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    2. It is just like people...
      grow fast, grow uniform...
      cultivate tastelessness!!

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  18. I had a few like that on the vine and decided to pick them this morning. They have gone black, so i'm guessing the chillier temps we've had the last week or so at night dipped down below freezing :0( I should have picked them green and let them ripen inside.

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