Growing tomatoes is my summer obsession. Why? Because I love it! I grow tomatoes – big ones, little ones, old ones (heirloom) and new ones. Whether it’s in pots, garden beds or in gravel driveways, purposely planted or self-sown, the vine that produces that lush, sweet and moisture filled fruit seems to excel for me.
As much as I love the product of the plant, it is in fact the plant I love most. They seem to respond well to a chat, a bit of a pluck and they love a mulch. I am not a pincher, I don’t obsessively take out the top leaves or tweak the under ones. I do water, in the mornings, generously. The aroma of the moist leaves on a warm morning provides a tiny window into my childhood. My dad told me to always water in the mornings, “never send tomatoes to bed with wet feet”. Feeding time is once a week with cow poo tea.
The rewards are kilos of glossy, flavour filled fruit, round, teardrops, misshapen orbs of deliciousness. One slice of a Rouge Marmande covers the actual bread and butter plate.
This Summer I’ve literally fed hundreds of people the little tartlet of goats curd, burst cherry tomato and thyme oil. Every little tomato was plucked from the self-sown plant growing through the gravel in my driveway. My favourite is still the Grosse Lise, not the prettiest, but delicious in a chutney or sauce (the meat pie kind) or in a salad. They are the tomatoes of my childhood, rows of grey green plants that loved the sun and a bit of cow poo tea.
If you haven’t already gathered, I could talk about tomatoes until the cows come home, but on this occasion I won’t. What I will do though is leave you with a favourite recipe for a delicious salad that is always a crowd pleaser.
Grosse Lise and Apple Cucumber Salad
What you need:
- 1 x small red onion
- 2 x Grosse Lise Tomatoes (any medium tomato will do )
- 1 x Apple Cucumber Cider Vinegar
- Sea Salt
- Fresh Pepper
- Pinch of Sugar
What you do:
- Peel the cucumber and score the sides with a fork.
- Slice thinly into rounds.
- Remove the core from the tomatoes and slice thinly (I always eat the top and bottom slices).
- Peel and vey finely slice the onion.
- Layer the tomatoes, cucumber and onion onto a platter seasoning each layer with salt, a pinch of sugar and a healthy grind of pepper.
- Drizzle over about a tablespoon or perhaps a bit more of the cider vinegar and let the salad stand for 1/2 an hour at room temperature.
- BBQ a piece of your favourite organic meat or sustainably caught fish and serve with the salad.
- The juices from the tomato, cucumber and onion will have released and completed the dressing.
It is a simply delicious salad! Enjoy