Happy September, everyone. Wow, can you believe it’s September already? Where did the time go? Summer really flew by. I’ve had a pretty stressful summer- and I didn’t get to the beach once. Also, my cat of 13 years, Arwyn, had to be put to sleep a few days ago, so this summer has been officially marked as shit. She might have lived with my mom and become my “mother’s” cat, but she was my baby. I see Halloween stuff and back-to-school things in stores and I wanna cry, and I LOVE Halloween. How did the summer go by so fast… and why? It’s still a zillion degrees out, I’m not fully ready to plunge into 100% fall treats yet. Besides- IT’S NOT EVEN LABOR DAY. LEMME KEEP MY TOMATOES AND MY SHORTS AND MY SANDALS AND MY ICED TEA, PLZ. KTHX.
Oh, tomatoes. Tomatoes, you beautiful summer-long-into-September-and-maybe-October delectable morsels of life.
I know we just spoke about tomatoes a few days ago, but come on. LOOK AT THESE THINGS. How do you not want to take pictures of them and eat them and cuddle them?
Okay, maybe not that.
In case you’re not a regular reader, we’ve been growing tomatoes in our raised garden beds. I had container gardens for years, and last summer we upgraded to raised beds that Jay built. This year we expanded them, and grew 5 varieties of tomatoes: Indigo Apple, Globe, Amish Paste, Cosmonaut Volkov and Supersweet 100. We also grew three kinds of basil (Cinnamon, Purple Ruffles and regular ol’ Genovese) and two types of oregano (regular and “hot & spicy”).
I love tomato season. Unf.
So, I had a few tomatoes that fell off the vine before they were ripe, and I decided to pick a vine of Supersweet 100’s and toss ’em all together in the oven. Of course, what are tomatoes without garlic, basil and oregano?
So I washed and dried the shermaters, cut up the Indigo Apple’s to a smaller size, and grabbed some hot & spicy oregano, a bunch of basil leaves and some regular oregano. I added those to the ‘maters. It already smelled like heaven. Or a pizzeria. Same thing.
Then I cut up a large clove of garlic and threw that in too, and drizzled the entire shebang with olive oil on a cookie sheet. Whoa, Nellie. That upped the smell ante to about 1,000,000. I sprinkled them with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and then I roasted them at 250 F for about an hour or so, until the small tomatoes all burst open, the larger slices were getting brown and wrinkly at the edges, the herbs were dark and the garlic was browning.
I pulled them out, popped ’em into a jar and covered it with more olive oil.
I would write up a recipe but I don’t think you’re stupid. I think this is all very self explanatory, isn’t it?
You can use tomatoes of any size, shape, variety, or stage of ripeness. Any kind of olive oil will do. And you can use any amount of garlic, basil, oregano (or thyme, rosemary or whatever herbs you use) that you want. The uglier the tomatoes, the better! Use a variety for different flavors and levels of caramelization from the natural sugars in them.
The size jar and amount of oil depends on the amount of tomatoes. Obviously you want to COVER them in the oil, so that none of them are exposed. And of course I’m supposed to tell you to store this jar in the fridge, but someone’s Italian Nonna could come here and beat me with a wooden spoon for being so paranoid. Do as you like.
All I’m gonna say is: your kitchen will smell like a pizza place for hours and that is so worth it.