I worked my first farmers’ market this weekend, helping out at the booth of a local organic farm known for their incredible dry-farmed tomatoes. It was great to give out samples (essentially enticing customers in, because apparently I am, as my co-worker put it, “more attractive than the two of them”) and see people’s reactions. I saw a lot of, “Oh, tomatoes, cool, okay… [insert taste here] Oh, wow. Those are really good. Honey you have to try some of these…”
What makes these tomatoes special is the way that they’re grown. They’re cultivated in soil that has a lot of clay, and this allows it to retain a lot of water. The tomatoes are never (or very infrequently) irrigated — so their water is drawn up from what’s already stored in the soil, bringing up a lot of minerals in the process. And voila — incredible tomato-y flavor. I don’t even like tomatoes that much and I love these guys!
Since it was my first shift, I was paid in produce. A pretty good deal if you ask me. I came back with three giant Italian torpedo onions, three purple bell peppers, a bunch of green beans, two heads of cabbage… and about 12 pounds of these incredible tomatoes. Now, however, I face the dilemma of dealing with said tomatoes.
I decided to make a tomato-heavy soup that would also utilize the onions I received: this recipe from Alexandra Cooks (a blog I read regularly for food inspiration). It smells delicious only twenty minutes in… but look how many tomatoes I still have left:
If nothing else, I’ll be drying them, but I’ll probably be eating lots of caprese and trying this as well (tomato pesto pie… sign me up!). I guess this really will be the summer I learn to love tomatoes…