Cool, sweet, piquant, ripe, juicy…criminally juicy. Real. What are the words you would use to describe the taste of a tomato?
I would have said, how would you describe a tomato to a Martian, but really, how would you describe a tomato to anyone who eats the industrial variety? You know the ones that can be described as plastic, mealy and watery. Those are usually a sicky dusty red, or even worse, a sort of red that is at once the ideal of tomatohood and a mockery of that state.
But, tomato, a true tomato, is the stuff that summer food joy is made of. I serious wait all year long to bite into a sun-ripened green zebra. I get giddy thinking about colanders full of yellow cherry tomatoes. I dream of the first black krim of the season.
While a tomato cooked, dried, sauced, souped, and Indian-fooded makes me joyful, the truest expression of a summer tomato is in the raw, salted, period. Next to that, then there is the salsa. Salsa with yuck tomatoes needs to be spicy, salty, cooked. With good tomatoes, it need only be diced tomato, a bit of onion, salt, and minced green chili. Get a little nutty, add some cilantro. Go wild, add sweet corn. Then mix in up, use grilled zucchini, thyme, raspberry and cherry tomatoes (or green zebras, cantaloupe, mint).
Then how do you serve these salsa up? Well, first, you should try to keep from slurping it all up at the kitchen counter. You should like the part that dripped down your wrist. You should dip in a chip. You should shovel it into your mouth with a spoon.
Or you could make a fancy BLT taco, as we did. Flour tortillas, homegrown tomatoes, grilled zucchini, grilled chicken, lovely local bacon, and some homegrown lettuce…
This post is part of Summer Fest 2010, which is a community food blogging event to write about (and eat!) seasonal produce. Today's Summer Fest theme is the lovely tomato.
I particularly like these other ones that I have read: from a dollop of cream, from white on rice couple (an organizer), from gluten free girl and the chef (another organizer), from a way to garden (organizer too), from pinch my salt , from tigress in a pickle . We you go around, read the comments to find more links.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Labels: Meal course: Entree