Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cherry Tomato Crostata with Fresh Goat Cheese

The tomatoes, oh! The tomatoes!

They've been coming out of our ears, truly. With today's harvest, which may be one of the last since my plants are petering out, we hit the fifty-pound mark! I've been keeping track all season of how much we've grown and to know that fifty pounds of tomatoes came right out of our front yard garden is very gratifying. All that hard work paid off!  That harvest weight doesn't even include the many tomatoes we lost (mostly the heirloom varieties, which I won't likely grow again) to splitting, cat-facing, and worm holes -- but even those yucky tomatoes found a use as chicken feed! The chickens think tomatoes of any kind are the best treat ever. Even moldy, wormy, sludgy ones.

Josh and Maggie aren't fans of fresh tomatoes, but I've been eating them atop salads and sandwiches and cooking them in as many ways as I can. I refuse to do any tomato canning, as I've found that freezing them whole is a much simpler and much less time-consuming way of preservation. But we haven't even had that many tomatoes to freeze, what with a glut of amazing recipes that use tomatoes in one form or another. Here's some of them that we've tried and loved:

Fresh pizza sauce (of course I used fresh tomatoes vs canned)
Pimento BLTs (adapted to use Hannah's pimento cheese recipe that uses a box grater vs food processor)
Tomato and fresh corn quiche

Tonight we tried out a new recipe, small tomato crostata with fresh goat cheese.  Goodness, this crostata! I found it via the blog The Yellow House, through an e-book with different recipes for using up summer's bounty of tomatoes. Amazing. Simple and easy, even for me, a novice at pastry making. I used some of our red cherry tomatoes from the garden and fresh chèvre from our local artisinal and highly-lauded goat cheese makers, Belle Chèvre.

 Served with pesto salmon and a green salad, it was a simple meal with little prep work -- I made the pastry a couple days ago and was happy to read that it can even be frozen then thawed. Straightforward, easy, delicious, healthy. My favorite kind of dinner. All three of us polished our plates! Though I'll be honest, Maggie picked the tomatoes off and then had to eat them plain afterwards. Josh and I enjoyed ours much more atop the crostata where they belonged.

Though we're coming to the end of the tomatoes from our own garden, I've got about ten pounds ripening on my kitchen countertop and waiting to be experimented with before the fall veggies begin to roll in (soon we'll be harvesting spaghetti squash and pumpkins!). 

I've been aching to make this fresh tomato sourdough bread ever since I stumbled upon the recipe. During my nauseous first trimester, Josh was being sweet and cleaned out the fridge (a lot of things were going bad, since I could barely eat and couldn't stand the smell of food so Josh couldn't cook either, and I definitely couldn't clean out a fridge full of stinky old foods) and let me know that he had cleaned out a particularly foul-smelling Mason jar full of gloop... which ended up being my healthy sourdough starter, that had been doing just fine until it was poured down the drain. At any rate, I've now got a brand new starter bubbling on the countertop and as soon as I get enough I will be making that tomato bread. 

What tomato recipes have y'all tried and loved? Any suggestions?

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