Summer’s rolled along into September and the garden’s plump with tomatoes. The only problem: what to do with them besides freezing and canning? Oven Roast.
Forgoing the cherries of last year, we planted juliets and big beefeaters, the latter of which I resisted because I didn’t like the name. Silly, I know. Beefeater makes me think of sloppy burgers and tasteless tomatoes, and if I’m being nice, gin. I did, however, capitulate after our retired neighbor, Corwin, turned us on to these mammoths.
His tomato plants grow taller than a tween while ours have ever remained gnomes. His secret appears to be plenty of clipped grass—not a weed to be had there—and what I’m beginning to suspect is plenty of good fertilizer.
But, I still prefer the juliets. They’re succulent, sweet little bombs that unlike cherries, don’t pop on the vine if forsaken by rain and sprinklers. They sprawl around the garden, creeping low and of late, mingling with the garter snakes (yikes!). For those with arthritic knees they may coax out a few newfound pains, but they’re worth every ache. Especially when they’re plucked fresh, chopped into coins for salsa, or as I’m doing today, oven roasting. It’s been chilly here in Minnesota and as oven roasting is akin to sun roasted, I’m giving it a whirl.
The recipe is simple: slice, spread, a little salt and pepper, a spray of olive oil, and a leisurely 4 or so hours at 220. Next batch, I’m thinking oregano and basil.