It's that most wonderful time of the year

And, no, it isn’t Christmas, although it does involve red and green. It’s this month, when beautiful tomatoes pour forth upon my eager plate. All my gardening friends know that I am the home for homeless tomatoes. I take in one and all. Leave a bag at my door and I will ask no questions.

The most recent CSA box brought me a bevy of bouncing baby tomatoes, of adorable sizes and colors. As tempting as it was to gobble them down raw, like juicy popcorn, I had a plan.

For weeks I had been looking at – OK, drooling on – the July Gourmet magazine cover: A slab of fine beefsteak drizzled with fresh basil, olive oil and gently wilted cherry tomatoes. At the end of a week of vegetarian ratatouille, seafood and salads, I could resist no longer, especially with those jewel-like tomatoes so fresh and inviting.

The hardest part of the whole recipe was paying for the 1 1/2-inch-thick porterhouse steak (about 2 pounds of it). A porterhouse is like a giant T-bone, with more of the tender, good stuff. As directed, I seared the beef on the stove and finished cooking it in the oven, while the cherry tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil got a light saute-steaming in olive oil. The acidity of the tomatoes and the richness of the beef was a combination that heightened the flavor of each.

Wielding our steak knives like buccaneers, my husband and I consumed all but a palm-sized piece. My husband claimed he needed the beef because he’d given blood four days earlier, although he didn’t pass out like the last time. I simply wanted it, along with a Pinot Noir we’d been hanging onto for a while. We managed not to chew the bone to bits, sending it over to our neighbor’s dog, Maggie.

Now, some of my best friends are vegetarians, and salads with egg or cheese have been my usual lunch at home for some time now. I live for soft-shell crab season, and do my share of damage to raw fish at sushi bars. But, geez, once in a while, I have to chew on something red-meaty. It was good, and I’m not ashamed to say so.

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No Responses to “It's that most wonderful time of the year”

  • Comment from Mary

    It’s so true! I have been eating these little sungolds like they were m&ms, but sometimes one wants a steak too.

    I’m enjoying reading your posts!


  • Comment from VaNC

    On the advice of a friend, I have just realized that you can roast cherry tomatoes. What a revelation! Toss a mess of them with some sweet onions, garlic, oil, or whatever and roast away. Those little packets of sugar turn into more intense little packets of sugar. At dinner tonight, my husband said “You know, I think I could eat roasted cherry tomotoes for dinner every night”

    You have gotten me thinking about how great they would be sitting on the side of a big fat steak.

    And I have to add that Sarig Agasi’s Sungold Tomato Panna Cotta dessert at this year’s Zely & Ritz tomato dinner was the most amazing thing I have eaten in a long time.

    “It the most wonderful time, its the most wonderful time……”
    Of course, I feel the same way in the fall, when the root vegetables start coming in…then there are peaches also in now…..oh, heck!

    Glad to see you have started blogging Ms. Debbie! Looking forward to reading!

  • Comment from admin

    Tomato Panna Cotta – ohhhh…. I hated to miss those tomato dinners. I’m afraid I can’t stimulate the same love for root vegetables that I can for fresh tomatoes and peaches!

    The acid of tomatoes really works with fatty things, like bacon or beef. Try it.

    – Debbie

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