Isn’t She Lovely?

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The first tomato of the season – well, at least in my garden. I’ve been watching this baby for weeks, and finally decided to pick her this morning. Every year I grow tomatoes in containers – all types of containers, including planters, paint buckets, barrels, old pots, watering cans, even a baby cradle. I do this for a few reasons; one, I don’t dig – ever – so, all of my garden beds are raised beds. I plant via the lasagna method of layering. But, I plant my vegetables in containers above the ground so they are easy for me to tend to, to keep the rabbits, as well as my dog, out.  They usually do very well.

This year I was cheap. I crowded two tomato plants and two pepper plants in each planter. I even planted morning glory and sunflower seeds in some of those planters. If you’re even remotely familiar with those two, they both can have tremendous root systems, and the morning glory likes to cuddle a bit too much. But, my little tomato plants thrived; they just would not grow tall. Each plant has approximately five to seven tomatoes. This morning, this little darling was aglow with a deep, rich blush. She winked at me, and said, “Pick me, sweetie’ …” So, I did.

Do you love tomatoes as much as I do? I can no longer stomach the dull, boring pink mush in the grocery stores. I love the sweet acidic taste of the old fashioned heirloom tomatoes. Don’t ask me what kind this is; I don’t know. The seedling was given to me as a gift. The fruit is small; but slightly larger than a cherry tomato.

Imagine the possibilities of a young, vine-ripe tomato! Since she’s so small, I thought a Tomato Sandwich was in order. So, here are a couple of ideas:

 Broiled Tomato Sandwich

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

4 ripe tomatoes, sliced

1/4 cup sliced ripe olives, drained

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

1 small garlic clove, minced

1 slice Bermuda onion, sliced

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 tablespoons grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese, divided

4 slices bread, barely toasted

Preheat oven to broil.

Whisk together the oil, onion, vinegar and garlic. Add the tomatoes and olives, and let them get to know one another for about an hour, stir them up when needed.  In a bowl, blend mayo, parsley, oregano, black pepper and 4 teaspoons Parmesan Reggiano. Spread on each slice of bread, the place marinated tomatoes on 2 slices and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.  Broil for 5 minutes on a baking sheet until cheese turns golden brown and bubbly. Serve immediately.

After Work Tomato Sandwich

2 slices of white sandwich bread (the kind your mom put in your lunch box)

2 tablespoons of mayo or salad dressing

3 thick slices of beefsteak tomato

Assemble and Eat Rapidly!

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