Wednesday, July 23, 2008

why grow my own?

When tomatoes are in season, everyone has extra. I've been bringing bags full of tomatoes (cherry, roma, and..uh.. round ones? I don't know the variety. But they're round. And homegrown).

I have spent the last four or five days eating some variant of tomato-cheese crostini or bruschetta for lunch and dinner. I keep thinking I'll try something else, but they're both so *easy*. For the first one, you cut some slices off a baguette, layer a slab of brie, a slice or two of tomato, drizzle olive oil, salt & pepper, and broil for a few minutes. I broil 'em in the toaster oven, which is awesome because it doesn't heat up the house. Bruschetta, well, that's just diced tomatoes tossed with olive oil, salt & pepper, on top of toasted baguette rounds. Tonight I added a little balsamic vinegar and some chopped garlic and let it set a few minutes while I sliced & toasted the bread.

I'm also completely addicted to rosemary flavored sea salt. I found a tub of it at TJ Maxx, of all places, and when I run out I'll probably have to chase all over the internet for it and have it shipped from freaking Sardinia or something. It's that good.

8 comments:

nola said...

YUM!!! I love fresh tomatoes!!

so.very.jealous.

rootlesscosmo said...

Try this: slice the kernels off a couple of ears of corn. (This is easier if you break the cobs in half and stand them upright on a cutting board, slicing downward with a good sharp knife; some kernels will scatter, there's no way to prevent this as far as I know.)

Slice a bunch of cherry tomatoes in half. Slice a couple of fresh basil leaves into thin shreds.

Heat a skillet very hot, toss in olive oil, add the corn, season with salt and pepper, toss once or twice; after 3-4 minutes a few of the kernels should start to look a little toasted. Now throw in the tomatoes, toss just long enough for them to warm up, sprinkle on the shredded basil, toss again, and there you are.

Variation: after the corn has been in the pan a couple of minutes but before you add the tomatoes, add some peeled fava beans. (Despite appearances these are only distantly related to limas so if you have bad associations with succotash, don't worry, this is very different.)

Jezebella said...

om nom nom. now that sounds *tasty*. And easy! thanks!

rootlesscosmo said...

If you ever want a real vacation from Buttcrack, come to San Francisco. The only county in California that rejected Prop. 13 and 209 (the anti-affirmative action measure) and 187 (the anti-immigrant measure)... of course all these were passed by statewide majorities which gives our politics what you might call a certain wistfulness, but we console ourselves with local oysters and asparagus and goat cheese, and somehow we struggle along.

Jezebella said...

ALright, now you're just *taunting* me, aren't you?

Goat cheese. Local asparagus. Hmph...grumbledy grumble....

rootlesscosmo said...

It's not meant as taunting, though I can see how it would appear to be. The fact is we're deliriously happy provincials; P. and I have lived on this hill for more than 20 years, but every time we round the crest and see the city and the Bay spread out below us, we say out loud how much we love the place. (She's the originator of the concepts of the Fungible Woman and the Hostage Factor, among others.) So we naïvely, and probably irritatingly, tend to urge everyone interesting to migrate here, because--here's the truly provincial part--we believe everybody would be deliriously happy here.

Jezebella said...

I'm just jealous, really. I want to live somewhere I love. What scares me is this: some friends from SF just passed through here last month on their Southeastern family tour, and their tales of Bay Area real estate curled my toes, I tell you whut.

rootlesscosmo said...

Yeah, it's all true, though home prices have taken a dive over the past year--as much as 25 or 30 percent in some towns, though less (wouldn't you know it) in San Francisco itself. There's rent control in SF, sorta--landlords can only raise rents by an amount keyed to overall inflation, but there's a huge loophole in that when rentals becme vacant, the restrictions are lifted. On the other hand wages are generally higher than in most of the country, partly because SF's local government passed a Living Wage ordinance that sets the minimum hourly wage at about double the statewide legal minimum. You describe your work as in the arts; we have a pretty healthy arts scene here, underfunded, more locally-focused than New York or LA, weighted by corporate influence, but in fairly good shape.