In Praise of Tomatoes

Good morning, Everyone. A clear summer day is ahead with cooler temperatures and sort-of lesser humidity. Let’s chat over a cup of coffee.
I am sitting in an ancient Adirondack chair that has been part of our homes’ patio decor for, what… decades? It is wooden with some patches of lichen, comfortable, and amazingly sturdy. I am facing the perennial garden that unfortunately took a beating from the almost hurricane (but it was really a tropical storm) Isaias. The vegetable garden took a hit as well. All but the peppers look weary. The okra stands spindly, the eggplants are dwarfed, and the tomatoes hang from wounded vines. I am mostly sad over the tomatoes. Thankfully, my sister-in-law, whose yard is behind ours, has an abundant crop.
A treasured gift of August is the tomatoes. Garden tomatoes taste like a tomato and lend their flavor to just about any dish. Store-bought tomatoes, even those with organic labels on healthy-looking vines, lack the delicate texture and always disappoint with its cardboard aftertaste finish.
Tomatoes have taken center stage in the farm stand displays. Just about each vegetable stand at the Sayville Farmers Market at the Islip Grange has glorious orbs of tomatoes. You can’t miss them. Now that tomatoes are in its zenith, I can eat them all day.
I have been sauteing tomato slices to fold into breakfast omelets. Thick tomato slices are alternated with mozzarella cheese and drizzled with a rendered fig balsamic glaze. With a dollop of fresh basil pesto added, my mid-morning or afternoon snack is satisfied.
A garden tomato sandwich with a smear of mayo or honey-mustard completes lunch. A grilled tomato and cheese sandwich is Matt’s favorites. When I cut tomatoes into wedges, add sliced red onion and chopped basil and parsley, and mix with oil and vinegar, a salad is born.
Sliced tomatoes in a fried eggplant stack (I’ll have to post an ode to eggplant soon) or topping a grill portobello mushroom completes dinner.

photo by ATM

I have exalted the praises of tomato pie in previous posts. The beauty of this pie is that it can be eaten cold or hot. There are many recipes, but I will humbly state, with conviction, that my tomato pie is THE best.

photo by Matt Martin

For my birthday in October, Matt picks the largest tomatoes to stuff with lobster, celery, and mayonnaise—his version of a carb-free lobster roll, and yes, it is THE best.
In between snacks and meals are the tomatoes dried in the dehydrator then frozen in a reusable snack baggie. I call it Tomato Candy. It is great on top of a salad, too.
Now that I need a coffee refill, I wonder if there is such a thing as tomato as a tomato infused brew. Hmm.
Have a good week, Everyone. Make it great.
Big thank yous go out to Ecelic Ali for keeping the Weekend Coffee Share up and running.

Be well. Be safe. Be smart

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Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.

15 thoughts

  1. I love almost any variety of tomato. I say “almost” only because there are varieties I’ve not tried but all that I have are wonderful and of course, they are best right off the vine. This year I thought I really should have planted some now that the much pile is so far along and full of helpful stuff. Spaghetti quash is great, but will never be a tomato.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, now I’m hungry! I’m sorry the storm made problems for your garden. Also, you wondering about tomato-infused coffee reminds me that they once made tomato soup pods you could pop in a Keurig coffeemaker to make instant tomato soup. (Or you could just use a can and a microwave—why exactly did they think people wanted instant pods?) Thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your ode to tomatoes got me really hungry and I’m reading your blog at 10:00 PM from my side of the world. Two words stuck to me now: Mozarella and Tomatoes. And omelettes. Making a mental note to myself: must make omelettes for breakfast. Thank you for the coffee! I hope your week is going well.


  4. Hi, Antoinette – I completely agree with you about a freshly picked, never refrigerated tomato. With fresh bread, a smear of butter and mayo = heaven!
    I’m sorry to hear about the storm’s damage to your vegetable patch. Fortunately, your sister-in-law and the farmer’s market came to the rescue. I am now craving one of those sandwiches myself!


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