Summer is almost over (altho you wouldn’t know it with temperatures in the 90s here and in the 30s Celsius further North). And we have had great fun growing some lovely tomatoes and cucumbers! Last year I had a good crop of herbs from the pots on the deck: lots of lovely basil with which to make pesto sauce, which I did, and froze, and we are still eating it! This year the herbs were meh, especially the basil and parsley.
Earlier in the season I bought Campari tomatoes and made sun-dried tomatoes……..in the car. I read about it online; you halve and seed the tomatoes, sprinkle them with salt, and put them on a cookie sheet lined with baking parchment. Then I lay the cookie sheet in the rear window of the car, covered it with some cheesecloth (in case of insects), and left it there for a couple of days. And, ta da…….
I had to be careful not to leave them too long because then they turn into tomato chips! Since then I have read that it’s better to use a drying rack lined with cheesecloth for better air circulation. Next summer!
Our own grown tomatoes are bigger and, also, I need my car from time to time, so those have led to other culinary adventures. Last week I made Gazpacho. And yesterday I made Tomato Jam.
I didn’t use a recipe for the Gazpacho. There ARE lots of recipes, and I read many of them. What I took away from them was that you should have 3 parts tomato to 1 part other vegetables; you need acid, such as red wine vinegar or lemon juice, or both; and you should keep some of the vegetables behind, diced small to add back to the other veggies after they have been blended into a soup. Mine had the tomatoes, cucumber, half a white onion, celery (not too much so not to overpower), garlic, a chopped red pepper and, to taste, the acid, the oil (olive), salt, pepper, and a wee bit of hot sauce. I blended it all together, then added the reserved handful of small diced cucumber and tomato. Very refreshing! I guess that it was so good, I forgot to take a photo!
But here is a photo of the other cold soup I made, this time with our cucumbers. It’s called Tangy Cucumber Soup, recipe from the Food and Wine website, here.
Next time I’ll post the recipe for Tomato Jam. Eat well!