Tuesday, August 14, 2012

And My Garden Said 'Welcome Home'

On Sunday night, we arrived home from a lovely two-week vacation in Ontario--most of it spent on Lake Muskoka at my parents' house. Returning from vacation is always difficult--there are the normal internal questions as I approach the house: 'Is it still standing?' (yes), 'How is the garden?' (weedy but well-watered, thanks to our thoughtful neighbours), 'Anything new and different?' (well yes--just look at those tomatoes!).

The green tomatoes that I left behind two weeks ago have turned into the most glorious harvest. The plants were so heavy with fruit that they were toppling. In the photo above, you see pale yellow 'White Queen', red 'Opalka' (don't they look like peppers?) and 'Green Zebra' tomatoes.  I have grown tomatoes for the past 12 years here, but the plants have never been taller or more laden. It is very exciting.

Look at the gorgeous flesh of the 'Pineapple' tomato (also shown on the plant just above)
Gardens teach us many things but one of its most important lessons is patience. Two months ago, I read a wonderful sounding recipe on my friend Sonia's blog for a traditional French savoury tomato tart. But in June here, tomatoes only can be bought in grocery stores, either imports or grown in greenhouses. They're okay but not all that tasty.

So I waited until today to try Sonia's recipe. I made two tarts because we have house guests at the moment--two of my nieces.

The assembly stage, just before adding a final layer of cheese and herbes de Provence.
This one was made with honey mustard, tomatoes and gouda cheese.
In this one, I used whole-grain Dijon mustard and a little espelette mustard, tomatoes and Emmental cheese.
The tarts were a tremendous success. The round one was made in a quiche pan with a removable bottom so it was super easy to cut. Because this pan was a little deeper than the rectangular sheet, I added more tomatoes and it took a few more minutes to cook.  I used a quick food-processor pastry recipe for the crust. Here's the recipe link for the tart from Sonia's blog again.

A little tip: I hummed 'Thank you Sonia, thank, thank you Sonia' to the tune of 'Help me, Rhonda' as I baked them. You don't need to, but it added to the experience. :)

And a very big thank you to my garden!



16 comments:

  1. I´m in awe - it looks beautiful, what a joy! :-)

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    1. Thanks Tina. The tomatoes are a gift from nature. The tart...you can make it too!!! :)

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  2. Oooooh !! You tried the recipe ! I'm so happy ! I love it that it is so easy to make & yet so delicious, you can't possibly go wrong (if you like tomatoe, mustard & cheese, that is, of course)
    You got some pretty gorgeous tomatoes in your garden, you must be so proud !! :D
    And I must say, your photos are heavenly, I think the last one is suuuuper appetizing !!
    Thanks a lot, my friend, and I hope you'll make more of them until the season is over !
    xoxo

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    1. Thanks Sonia. The recipe is wonderful. So easy and it is delicious eaten warm and cold--just as you said. I am going to make more of them for sure and may even try freezing a couple for those autumn nights when we need a little reminder of summer. :)

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  3. Wow look at all those beautiful tomatoes! Lucky you! The tart looks delicious too!

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    1. It's a wonderful recipe. I think we'll be making lots of tomato recipes in the weeks ahead. We are getting our CSA basket tomorrow night after two weeks of vacation. :)

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  4. Scrumptious! I wish I was there for a slice or two! We love gouda cheese in this house. Your garden bounty has been so wonderfully generous, and I love seeing how you serve it up.

    Winter is almost gone here. I took some fuschia & rosemary cuttings today. Jeff has a new rooting hormone solution - I'm trying it out. Tulips which I've never grown before are busting to bloom, and some are only a couple of inches off the ground.



    Congratulations and Happy Birthday to you and your blog as well!

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    1. I just love our topsy turvy world--and the way we are celebrating opposite things at the opposite times. :)

      Thanks for being here the past year Cindy. It's lovely to have a friend in Australia.

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  5. That looks incredible! I can't wait to try it. And that photo at the bottom is too awesome!

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    1. Thanks Nessy. I'm going to make another one today!

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  6. Those tomatoes are gorgeous! Time to paint some and add them to the radishes you've painted.
    Great photos! (You're making me hungry!!)

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    1. I have a painting of tomatoes in progress! Actually just went up to the loft to be sure the tomatoes were okay still. Not good to leave ripening still life objects without supervision. I started the painting on Thursday and wasn't able to get back to it. They are still looking good so I'll finish it tomorrow and then eat the tomatoes. :)

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  7. i think i will have to make one before I head east on holidays at the end of the week. I have lots of colourful tomatoes in the pantry calling out to me :)

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    1. It would even be good to take along as picnic food. It's lovely cold too. Have a wonderful holiday.

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