It’s finally happened! We are reaching the very of the tomato season here at Casa Tyr. OK, I guess I can’t complain, as mid-November is pretty late to still be eating tomatoes fresh-picked from the garden.
And oh, man, are we enjoying them. I think they are especially wonderful at this time of year, because you know that before long, fresh tomatoes will be no more, and we won’t see their like again until next July. We refuse to buy those pale, tasteless imitations from the supermarket – they look like tomatoes, but they certainly don’t taste like tomatoes!
We’ve had a good crop this year. Unlike the locals, we grow many, many different types, from plum tomatoes, to heirloom, through to tiny white and chocolate brown cherry tomatoes. Our Spanish friends wonder about us sometimes (well, probably all the time!). After all, why grow these oddly-coloured tomatoes when all you really need are the ruby red, ‘big as a plate’ tomatoes that are obviously so superior?
So during the summer we: canned and dried tomatoes. We jarred cherry tomatoes with basil and garlic. We made salsa, curry base, ketchup and puree. We gave them away by the sackful!
Sad to say, we’re almost at the end. But in the meantime, we are cutting out the bad bits, and still using them sliced on our toasted bread in the morning, served with drizzled Yunquera Gold olive oil, chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Heaven.
And those slightly over-ripe tomatoes also feature in one of our favourite casseroles, which we’re having tonight.
Layered potato and tomato bake
4-5 large potatoes (peeled, sliced into 1/4 thick slices, then cooked in boiling salted water for 15 minutes)
4-5 fresh from the garden tomatoes (sliced)
2 onions (sliced)
fresh basil (fairly large bunch)
big wedge of sharp, mature cheese (grated)
salt and pepper
In a greased casserole dish, first put a thin layer of onion. On top of that, put a layer of tomato and potato slices, overlapping and alternating each slice slightly as you go. On top of that, drizzle a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper it, and add some grated cheese and some of the basil leaves. (we use a lot of cheese)
Repeat the layers until everything is used up, making sure that the grated cheese is the last layer.
Bake in a medium oven until the cheese is melted, bubbly and golden.