Yesterday, I harvested my first tomatoes. It was a glorious occasion.
It wasn't my first nibble of the baby fruits—that happened last week when I plucked a perfect yellow orb, and then dashed for my life away from an approaching thunderstorm—but it was my first opportunity to incorporate them into a real meal.
Now, things are pretty intense over at Plot de la Stabert. As Marisa McClellan, Grid contributor and watering buddy, put it in a text message: "Your garden is incredible in its riotous lushness."
Picture that scene from Jumanji where the vines overrun the house.
So, spotting the ripe tomatoes in the mayhem is a bit tricky, but obviously worth it. I managed to snag about 15 little suckers, mostly Snowberry with a few Isis Candy thrown in for good measure. I also grabbed a couple thai chilis and hand fulls of basil and parsley.
When I got home, I started cooking. With pasta boiling away, I threw some diced white onion and garlic into a skillet with a glug of olive oil. When they were translucent and fragrant, in went the tomatoes (which had been quartered) and a diced chili. A little salt helped them release their liquid, and after a couple minutes, in went a splash of rosé (it was open). I let that cook down and thicken before crumbling in a small hunk of feta cheese. The salty cheese melted in perfectly, adding a richness that was downright intoxicating. Lastly, basil and parsley hit the party.
This dish turned out really special. A few of the tomatoes were a bit underripe, adding the perfect acidic zing—the sauce tasted like it had been finished with lemon. The feta also overperformed, lending a creaminess that seemed downright dishonest.