Jersey Bites

Jersey Tomatoes

Jersey Tomatoes I just had to share this picture of the tomatoes I picked today from my humble little backyard garden.  Isn’t that a lovely bunch.  As you can see, this year I decided to really mix it up with a lot of heirloom varieties.   Last year, I fell in love with the big, pinkish Brandywine tomatoes but I couldn’t find them this year.  So, I opted for the Green Zebra, yellow cherry tomatoes,  Mr. Stripey and your classic hybrid red.  (Can’t remember what variety it is, sorry.)

You may have heard we’ve got quite the tomato disease epidemic going on right now in the north east.  Tomato seedlings supplied to major chains like Home Depot and Lowes and to commercial growers by an Alabama wholesaler were  infected with Early Blight fungi. Commercial farms and home gardens in six New Jersey counties — Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem — have confirmed cases so far.

My plants are starting to show signs, and yes I bought them at Lowes.  I’m trying to prune the leaves showing signs to save the plants for as long as I can.  So, while they’re still healthy enough to produce these gorgeous beauties, I am obviously going to relish every mouth watering bite.

Since many of us are gobbling up fresh Jersey Tomatoes right now, I thought I’d share some of my favorite recipes here.  Please, if you have one you’d like to share, email me or leave a comment below.

Pasta Puttanesca

Grilled Tomatoes and Smoked Cheddar

Corn, Blackbean and Avocado Salad (w/Tomatoes)

Fresh Tomato Salad with Grilled Red Onion

Here’s a recipe that I don’t have posted yet.  It’s a very loose recipe.  No exact measurements.  Just taste as you go.  The fresh oregano really makes this salad special.  Grilling the onion first mellows the flavor and takes away some of the onion bite, which I prefer.

INGREDIENTS:

3 or 4 Medium Size Tomatoes, cut into bite size pieces

1 Red Onion.  Quartered and grilled until slightly charred on the ends.  Cool and dice.

White Balsamic Vinegar

Extra Virgin Olive oil

Sea Salt and fresh black pepper to taste

1 Tablespoon Fresh Oregano, chopped

1 Tablespoon Fresh Basil, chopped

Add tomato pieces and chopped onion.  Salt and pepper.  Drizzle with vinegar and olive oil.  Taste and adjust to your liking. Add fresh herbs.  Give it another taste to adjust oil/vinegar if needed.  Serve as a side dish, or tomatoes can be diced rather than chopped and use as a delicious bruscetta.

green-zebra-tomatoAnd let’s not forget, fresh picked with just a little sea salt.  Jersey heaven my friends.

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Author:Deborah Smith, Executive Editor

Deborah Smith is the Founder and Publisher of JerseyBites.com, a collaborative website focused on food news in New Jersey.

3 Responses to “Jersey Tomatoes”

  1. August 29, 2009 at 1:16 pm #

    Those tomatoes look so pretty…the colors!

  2. September 4, 2009 at 4:39 pm #

    Beautiful tomatoes, Deb. Still remember quite fondly last year’s tomato garden party. Lovely.

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