Monday, August 3, 2015

home-grown tomatoes

I did it. I grew my own tomatoes for the first time ever.  I didn't kill the plant and it actually bore fruit.  I've only gotten three full-sized tomatoes so far, but it's a start.

As I've said in the past, I've always been a tomato hater. Actually, a RAW tomato hater.  I've always enjoyed tomatoes any other way except raw slices.  Sun-dried, broiled, stewed, fresh sauce, even raw and chopped for tacos or pico de gallo.  But there was just something about raw, sliced tomatoes. I didn't like cherry or grape tomatoes either.  I think it's the sliminess around the seeds. But something changed this year.  I have no idea why, but it did. I'm suddenly a caprese salad lover; I've cleaned out the bin of marinated mozzarella balls at Stop & Shop twice so far.

So, what do you think I did with the tomato that just ripened, which I grew myself?  I bought some fresh mozzarella and made caprese salad, of course.  I stacked it, drizzled on some balsamic vinegar and some olive oil, and topped it with salt and freshly ground pepper. I kind of went over board with the oil and vinegar, but it worked out OK.  I don't have a good quality, thick vinegar on hand, so I had to use what I had, which was Trader Joe's brand. Good, but too thin for this purpose.  I think next time I will take the time to reduce the balsamic in a sauce pan so it's nice and thick.

(The dinner salad at event I went to the other night was a stacked caprese salad served with a balsamic reduction and topped with a fresh basil leaf.  Delicious! Obviously, this is what inspired me to make my own salad today.)

Here's my first homemade caprese salad. Doesn't look too bad, but it does look like it needs a bathing suit to swim around in all that oil.  I used the whole tomato.  This was a full meal for me. I finished it all but two bites and I was quite full afterwards.

This reminds me of a torte. Sky high!


  1. My favourite is toast, cream cheese, smoked salmon, and freshly sliced tomatoes on top with pepper and a little salt. :) If there is no smoked salmon I will have it without, too. :)

    1. That sounds good, although I've never had smoked salmon. I do love cream cheese, though! I wonder if I could substitute goat cheese? I think that would be delicious.

    2. Absolutely - I have cut feta into the tiniest thinnest slices possible without making a mess and having everything crumble into a not slice, placed it on the toast, then added tomatoes. I think maybe they call smoked salmon something else over in the US? Is it Lox?

    3. Yes it is. I haven't tried it though.

  2. Oh my that looks so yummy!!!!

  3. I found a bottle of balsamic glaze at Trader Joe's for about $3 per bottle. Great product, great priceso much easier and it eliminated the potential for a burned mess, 😉.