Late summer candy




■ Fresh tomato slices, 1/2-inch thick, excess seeds pushed out

■ Cherry tomatoes – gold, yellow, red

■ Garlic – finely minced, sliced or garlic paste

■ Kosher salt

■ Sprigs of rosemary or sliced basil (optional)

■ Cookie sheets lined with foil and brushed with olive oil

For tomato slices, place single layer on foil, brush tomatoes with oil, sprinkle slices with minced garlic, place garlic slices on tomatoes or brush with garlic paste. To slow roast, place in 200-degree oven, roast 7 to 10 hours until tomatoes are caramelized and smaller in size and texture is dense and chewy.

For cherry tomatoes, toss with oil and garlic. I poke a little hole in each one with a cake tester to allow some juice to caramelize and sauce up. A quick roast is good, but we prefer slow roast. To quick roast: Roast at 375 to 400 degrees for a couple of hours to desired texture/taste.


We had this for dinner last week and a brunch last Sunday, and if Fred has his way, we’ll have it every week during tomato season and later using our frozen ones.  An iron skillet works great for this. Mine disappeared after a camping trip, so I use my heavy, non-stick, oven-proof pans that can go from stove top to the oven.

■ 7-inch oven proof skillet for our frittata for 2 to 3. For more, double recipe using 9-inch skillet.

■ 4 eggs

■ 2 Tbsp. milk, half and half or cream

■ 1/2 cup diced onion (or to taste)

■ Olive oil

■ 1 cup spiralized or julienned zucchini

■ Fresh basil strips plus leaves for garnish

■ Roasted fresh tomato slices and cherry tomatoes

■ Freshly shredded Parmesan or preferred cheese

■ Pepper and a pinch of salt to taste

Beat eggs vigorously with cream/milk or half and half, somewhat generously, brush skillet bottom and sides with oil. Using medium heat, sauté onion and zucchini to tender, add egg mixture, top with tomato slices/basil. Cook, lift around edge for a couple of minutes to allow some of uncooked eggs to reach the sides of skillet. When half done, place in 375-degree oven until edges pull away from skillet. Cut into wedges, top with warmed roasted cherry tomatoes and shredded cheese.


Sauté chopped onion in skillet with a little olive oil, then add leftover roasted tomato slices and/or cherries, add a couple tablespoons of water to bring out caramelized sauce. Warm or crisp mini white taco shells, top with Romaine lettuce and other greens and pile on the tomatoes. Toss feta crumbles on top if desired.

September is definitely the season of tomato abundance. We may not be the valley’s best gardeners — we can’t even grow zucchini. But when it comes tomatoes? That’s another matter.

Although limited in space due to the necessary amount of full sun needed to grow these delicious stars of summer, we managed to plant a couple cherry tomato plants (golden and red), plus nine other tomato plants. There is something therapeutic about planting and watching them grow everyday as we impatiently watch for the first to appear.

Due to overplanting other tomatoes and Fred’s overzealous marigolds, we’re a bit short on the cherry variety since they are the sweetest we’ve ever grown, as evidenced by the explosion of sweetness and expressions on those who “borrow” a couple from time to time. The other tomatoes are delicious as well. Thanks to our tomato competitor and neighbor, Gordon, our supply has been supplemented by his generosity of sharing his bounty from more than 31 various plants.

The minute I roasted our first batch of tomatoes Fred declared it was roasted tomato pasta time. It’s a family favorite: pasta tossed with our roasted tomatoes and a little shredded cheese, roasted eggplant, peppers and onion. Looking in the refrigerator at some leftovers, I became inspired to make a roasted tomato frittata, the next day I created my new-age roasted tomato taco. Results? They’re on the Burmeister Tomato Favorites list.

By the way, for those asking, I picked 28 tomatoes Sunday night to go with the 14 on my countertop. And that doesn’t count the small basket of cherry tomatoes we picked.


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