Tomato Days

by Cari Balbo


It's been all about tomatoes here at Ridge Pond Farm these past few weeks. Between our kitchen garden tomato jungle, my parents' large garden and our farmer cousins at Crooked Door Farm, we are awash in tomatoes. And I couldn't be happier. Now is the time for eating them fresh and putting them by for future meals. 

A tower of tomatoes in my favorite bowl.  

A tower of tomatoes in my favorite bowl.  

Some of these beauties became salsa, some were roasted in the oven, and others went into sauce. 

Some of these beauties became salsa, some were roasted in the oven, and others went into sauce. 

These tomatoes were simmered plain on the stove top for a few hours, then baked in the oven until reduced by about half. I don't bother with peeling or seeding. I want the whole food. I used an immersion blender at the end to purée the final sauce. 

These tomatoes were simmered plain on the stove top for a few hours, then baked in the oven until reduced by about half. I don't bother with peeling or seeding. I want the whole food. I used an immersion blender at the end to purée the final sauce. 

Salsa, sauce, and salmorejo. Salmorejo is a delicious Spanish cold soup made by blending tomatoes with bread, olive oil, garlic, sherry vinegar, salt, and pepper. It's creamy, savory and perfect for summer. 

Salsa, sauce, and salmorejo. Salmorejo is a delicious Spanish cold soup made by blending tomatoes with bread, olive oil, garlic, sherry vinegar, salt, and pepper. It's creamy, savory and perfect for summer. 

We have little Juliet tomatoes in our garden. I slice them in half, cover with a generous amount of olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast until much of their moisture has cooked off. 

We have little Juliet tomatoes in our garden. I slice them in half, cover with a generous amount of olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast until much of their moisture has cooked off. 

Another batch with added Italian herbs (oregano, thyme, basil)   I keep some of these in the fridge covered in olive oil for a couple weeks and freeze the rest either in small containers or in a single layer in a freezer bag so that I can break off just a few when I need them. Defrosted, they'll add great flavor to colder weather soups and braises. 

Another batch with added Italian herbs (oregano, thyme, basil)   I keep some of these in the fridge covered in olive oil for a couple weeks and freeze the rest either in small containers or in a single layer in a freezer bag so that I can break off just a few when I need them. Defrosted, they'll add great flavor to colder weather soups and braises. 

This apron belonged to my grandmother, Anne. It's floor length, holds a lot of tomatoes, and reminds me of her every time I wear it.

This apron belonged to my grandmother, Anne. It's floor length, holds a lot of tomatoes, and reminds me of her every time I wear it.

These chunks of tomato, tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, were roasted like the Juliets and frozen in a single layer in a freezer bag.  

These chunks of tomato, tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, were roasted like the Juliets and frozen in a single layer in a freezer bag.  

I love my kitchen work counter. Being able to look out on the garden and the pond beyond is pure joy.  

I love my kitchen work counter. Being able to look out on the garden and the pond beyond is pure joy.