Thursday, 24 July 2014

Tomatoes Galore

Tomatoes Galore


Tomatoes Galore
The tomato is the edible, often red, fruit of the nightshade plant Solanum lycopersicum, commonly known as the tomato plant. It originated in the sough American Andes and its use as a food originated in Mexico. It spread throughout the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas. The tomato is used in many different ways, eaten raw, as a sauce, in salads and as a drink. We tend to think of it as a vegetable even though it is a fruit.

From Wikipedia

The word "tomato" comes from the Spanish tomate, which in turn comes from the Nahuatl word tomatotl [aːˈtomatl͡ɬ]. It first appeared in print in 1595. A member of the deadly nightshade family, tomatoes were erroneously thought to be poisonous (although the leaves are) by Europeans who were suspicious of their bright, shiny fruit. Native versions were small, like cherry tomatoes, and most likely yellow rather than red.’

One VERY strange tomato, Yes, this really is only one!

‘The Aztecs and other peoples in Mesoamerica used the fruit in their cooking. The exact date of domestication is unknown: by 500 BC, it was already being cultivated in southern Mexico and probably other areas. The Pueblo people are thought to have believed that those who witnessed the ingestion of tomato seeds were blessed with powers of divination. The large, lumpy tomato, a mutation from a smoother, smaller fruit, originated in Mesoamerica, and may be the direct ancestor of some modern cultivated tomatoes.

The harvest is full on at the moment (24th July)

I’m picking bowls full and making lots and lots of sauces. Some bottles are mostly tomato but with other vegetable and herbs added, or else I’m bottling pure tomato juice.

Sauces and Juice

These sauces are great to add to other vegetables, particularly beans (of all kinds).

You can add them to a vegetable such as aubergines. Cover with sauce then bake with the addition of crumbled feta cheese. 

Or you can use them for the classic tomato sauce dishes, such as Moussaka or Pastikio. The first basically aubergines and potatoes sliced thinly, covered with a minced meat and tomato sauce and topped with bechamel sauce. The second is pasta tubes covered with the meat and tomato sauce and topped with bechaemel. Use the quantity of each ingredient to your (and your family's liking).

Pasta and Tomato Sauce

Tomato and Aubergine - a good dip

Tomatoes and aubergines together make a great dip.
My fast way of doing this (without roasting the aubergines first) is to fry a lot of onions and a lot of garlic. The add tomatoes that are chopped and seeded. The sliced aubergines, and cook it all up together. Cool the mixture and the blend. Add salt and pepper. Serve with some crumbled feta over the top.

You can also have tomatoes in everything, in the salad, in the sauce and in the pasta filling!!!

The ubiquitous Greek Salad!

A recipe from Recipes From Lemnos by Ourania Vayakou

Peasant’s Salad (Choriatiki Salata) 

4 ripe tomatoes, skinned and coarsely cut
2 cucumbers, sliced
2 green peppers, seeded and chopped
I big onion, coarsely sliced
Feta cheese
Dried Oregano or fresh parsley finely chopped
½ cup of olive oil
 Rinse and chop vegetables, sprinkle with salt and toss. Turn into bowl and top with small cubes of feta cheese and olives. Garnish with olive oil and dried oregano or fresh parsley.
 (A friend of mine swears that he and his wife never get winter colds as they have this salad at least three times a week!)
 (And I nearly forgot to put the most important hint from Ourania. 'This is a very popular mixed vegetable sald, best in summer when the weather is warm and vegetables grow in the open air, under the hot sun.'!!!)

And this is Not Just Tomato Harvest Time

Our beans have now dried on the bush and here we are collecting a bowl of dried beans.


And at the same time we are dealing with a crop of pears

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