It’s August, it’s Summer at the Jersey Shore, and it’s all about the Tomato, especially the locally grown ones. No debating here please, I’m not saying you have to have a Jersey garden grown tomato for it to be good just find ripe locally grown ones that are at their peak right now. We happen to have very good ones here in the Garden State but I’m not entering into a contest as to what state has the best or not. I find that confrontational and boring at the same time. It’s the time to hit your Farmer’s Markets, produce stands, or pal up with a food friend or family member who has grown them in their own yard if you aren’t growing them yourself.
The beautiful plate of tomatoes pictured came from a friend’s yard here in Wayside/Tinton Falls, NJ, less than 2 miles from my home. HEIRLOOMS. Again, the foodies-in-the-know will pound Heirlooms down your throat as the only tomato that has any flavor or merit. They are insanely delicious and come in incredible variations of colors and shapes but they are not the only tomato out there. Too much foodie bullying going on in the world today, seriously, it’s food, we all can’t get certain types of food in our area, so..I wish more food writers/bloggers, etc would bear that in mind when communicating. However, those local heirlooms I turned into a simple salad (not a Caprese) that tasted as insane as they looked. Here’s another view.. Slice them, layer them on a plate/platter, drizzle a good Olive Oil over them, chop some fresh herbs, i used oregano and thyme here, but the sky’s the limit..sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. There’s your recipe! Want more “tang”, add a little vinegar, but a good one, not something harsh, like a White Balsamic or a Sherry or Champagne Vinegar. Again..take the foundation and run with it DO NOT FEEL RESTRICTED BY THE MOST COMMON SUMMER TOMATO SALADS. In the end they will only be as good as the tomatoes you are using.
Let’s look at the other tomatoes I have hanging around my house right now…these are garden variety assorted Jersey Grown tomatoes..full of the sun and sweet delicious flavor and gorgeous..plenty of time left to enjoy these jewels from the local gardens, don’t wait, enjoy them while they are at their best. (P.S. and not ice cold, yikes, nothing kills the taste of a tomato more than ICE COLD)