July 30, 2013
July 18 - 1st Juliette tomatoes are ripe!
But THE tomato season does not start before the REAL tomatoes are ripe - round, juicy, and large -
the first were the Black Krim on July 30
the cracks are NOT a charecteristic of this variety (except for this variety not being crack resistent). It is usually attributed to a fluctuation between dry and wet conditions, causing the fruit to absorb too much moisture on the wet period and burst.
(both of these tomato varieties are grown from seedlings germinated and grown by Bob Breitinger, a friend from international folk dancing, and a very gifted person.
(More about him on Claus; pages - click his name for the link, but then scroll down to "Bob (the Builder) builds a countertop - June 30, 2013" - easier to use the Find feature on the computer to search for his name.)
So here is how we celebrated the beginning of tomato season - with the two signature dishes that we eat throughout tomato season, and never tire of:
Tomato-basil Auflauf and tomato-basil salad
(Auflauf is a German word for a casserole or quiche type of dish - pashtida in Hebrew. my version of the recipe is more like bruscetta than an Auflauf)
all the ingredients, and the dishes partly assembled
bread - we prefer the Lithuanian Rye, non-sliced loaf, baked by the Lithuanian Bakery in Elizabeth, which we can conveniently buy in the farmers' market in Westfield and Scotch Plains all summer and fall.
pesto - which I make from our basil (and olive oil, pine nuts, and pecorino cheese)
mozzarella cheese (also from a vendor at Westfield farmers' market)
olive oil, salt, freshly-ground black pepper, Aceto balsamico (balsamic vinegar)
prepared dishes below:
the Auflauf baked in a 420 degrees Fahrenheit (or use the grill setting) just until the mozzarella is nicely melted
the salad is just mixed
On August 2 I pick the first of two other varieties.
Black Krim Rutgers Viva Italia Juliette