8.30.09 Got Tomatoes?

Greentomatoes1 790 xxx
photo by george billard
I can't stand the rain. OK, not true, but it did wreak a lot of havoc this summer. It was not the year for tomatoes, as you may have heard. Ahem. As you can see here, we started out with some very promising plants. They produced tons of big, gorgeous heirloom specimens that had us dreaming of fresh salads and BLTs and even an aspic or two. BUT THEN THE BLIGHT HIT. And wiped us out. That's right. All that compost and pampering amounted to a hill of beans when the torrential rains hit and the fungus came to town. (It's a strain of the very thing that wiped out all those potatoes in Ireland causing the famed famine.) From one day to the next, we went from tomato-rich to tomato-destitute. No love apples for us. One plant of yellow cherry tomatoes survived, bless her feisty little heart. If you've been luckier, then this recipe is for you.

Warm & Spicy Indian Tomatoes

serves 6
  • — 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • — 4 scallions, sliced thin
  • — 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
  • — 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • — 3/4 teaspoon ground tumeric (a fantastic anti-inflamatory)
  • — 4 galic cloves, minced
  • — 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • — 6 large ripe red tomatoes
  • — 1 teaspoon sugar
  • — 1/4 cup cup grated unsweetened coconut
  • — 1/2 cup plain yoghurt
  • — 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • coarse sea salt and fresh pepper to taste

Melt butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat.

Add the scallions, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric, garlic and jalapeno. Stir for 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes and stir gently with a wooden spoon until heated through, 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from heat.

Combine the sugar, coconut and yoghurt in a small bowl and pour over the tomatoes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper, add the cilantro and fold everything together.

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