Let’s enjoy the last of tomatoes

Published 10:14 am Sunday, July 25, 2021

All this talk about the farmer’s market makes me think of those fabulous tomatoes so many vendors have. At home, we are overrun with them on every surface in my parents’ kitchen. I’m eating them by the bowl full at lunch time and usually as a side with every dinner. Salt. Pepper. A little Ranch dressing. They just can’t be beat.

We tend to run out of creative ways to use them in recipes. Of course, Mom peels some to be bagged and frozen. We use them in salads. She makes a few batches of salsa that is jarred and stored for the rest of the year.

She stews them with okra for good old fashioned okra and tomatoes. We give them away by the bag full. You know; what good southern people do in the summertime.

This will probably be controversial, but I’m not a fan of tomato pie. I found one recipe years ago that was different from the usual southern way of mixing mayonnaise, a ton of cheese, and bacon grease to a pie crust with a dab of tomato. This one in particular was a cream cheese base with fresh herbs and large slices of tomato arranged over the top and baked until bubbly. Of course, I can’t find that recipe now.

However, one recipe that is delicious all summer long is bruschetta using fresh tomatoes and cheese.

We’ve used Parmesan cheese, but you could easily substitute mozzarella and have your own version of a margherita pizza. The beauty of this recipe is it goes well with just about any other vegetable from your garden and makes a great snack in the afternoon heat.

Now, the bread is the key here. We are lucky and have cousins that come in from Houma, Louisiana, from time to time bringing fresh baguettes from a small mom-and-pop bakery. But, I think we’re going to need to try this recipe on one of the Butter Cakery’s sourdough loaves very soon. I can already taste it!

Garden Fresh Bruschetta

6 – 8 large tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped

1 loaf fresh French bread, sliced

Olive oil

Parmesan cheese

Fresh basil, thinly chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Peel and finely chop the tomatoes. Allow to drain the excess juice in