Every summer there comes a time when I have “almost” too many tomatoes growing in my garden. Don’t get me wrong, I will eat fresh picked tomatoes with breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s just that by mid summer they seem to ripen all at once. I have limited freezer space at our home so that’s when I share the bounty with family and friends. I could not imagine a single summer without home grown tomatoes in my garden.
A few of my tomato plants. I plant them in sturdy metal tomato cages to keep them growing upright and from falling over. I also trim the leaves at the base of the tomato plants so all the energy in the plants gets redirected from growing leaves to tomato production. Did you notice that I cram my plants in a really small space? No patch of precious real estate ever gets wasted in my garden. What you see here are early girls, lemon boys and my all time favorite, pineapple tomatoes. I also planted nasturtiums at the base of the tomato plants. The nasturtium flowers are edible and have a wonderful peppery flavor. The bright colored petals are great for garnish or in salads.
Whenever I head out the side yard to my little garden, my buddy Gromit is sure to follow. He’s such a comical creature. While out, he goes on what I call “cat patrol”. First, he runs straight to the front gate to make sure that there are no uninvited guests in the area and then he follows the perimeter of the fence to ensure that the yard is cat free. He thinks he’s such a tough guy. It must be that spike collar of his… I feel sorry for any unsuspecting cat that happens to be in our yard when he flies out the back door.
A bucket full of fresh picked garden goodies. The lemon cucumbers, yellow peppers and tomatoes will be going into my Golden Gazpacho soup. The remaining heirloom tomatoes and peppers will be oven roasted and tossed in the freezer to be used at a later date when the tomatoes and peppers are no longer in season. If you happen to have a bunch of heirloom tomatoes that are yellow or orange in color, be sure to set some aside to make some golden gazpacho. If you love tomatoes and never had gazpacho before, you are in for a real treat. Gazpacho is an easy to prepare chilled tomato soup that is Spanish in origin. It’s wonderfully light, refreshing and delicious. It’s like sunshine in a shot glass! Enjoy! Tessa
- 2 pounds vine ripened yellow or orange tomatoes (peeled and seeded)
- 1/2 white onion
- 1 yellow pepper
- 2- 3 lemon cucumbers
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 Tbs red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper (or to taste)
- big pinch of cumin (or to taste)
- Garnish with tomatoes and basil
Rinse and remove skin and seeds from the tomatoes. Cut into quarters. Peel and chop the onion. Slice lengthwise and remove the stem and all the seeds from the yellow pepper. Wash, lightly peel and quarter the lemon cucumbers. Peel garlic clove. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Chill well before serving. Pour into bowls or into shot glasses for elegant mini appetizers. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and/or basil. Makes about 6 cups gazpacho.