Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Festival of the Red Orb, Part Deux

The report post-festival? There were alotta tomatoes, man.

End of report.

What, you want more than that?

OK, then, the exact number of varieties available to taste was 85, according to Linda Shively, spokesperson for Farmington Gardens. Out of the 140 or so they carry in the spring, which is more than any reasonable gardener should have to consider. And there were some that I'd never seen (or tasted) before and that I'd consider for the garden next year. Which were duly written down on the little Farmington Garden pads with the little pencils they graciously provided. (Have they been taking lessons from Ikea?) In addition, many of the samples were for sale by the pound.

The ones I liked tended to have a sweet, very tomato-y flavor, with a firm (not watery or mushy) texture. The ones I liked in the "red/purple" category were Black Cherry, Early Cascade, Early Girl, Thessaloniki and Carbon. One green, called Evergreen, made the list, though I still like (and grow) Green Zebras. Then there were two orange tomatoes the color and texture of mangoes that were terrific, Azoychka and Yellow Brandywine.

And, for the delectation of those lucky enough to attend his demo and for readers of GoodStuffNW, Chef Dan Brophy shares his recipe for tomato-apple butter:

Tomato-Apple Butter

3 lbs. ripe tomatoes (about 6), scalded, peeled and quartered
3 green apples, peeled, cored and quartered (Chef Dan used Gravensteins)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2 1/2 c. brown sugar

Cook tomatoes covered until mushy, stirring occasionally. Press through a sieve to remove any seeds. Measure about 4 cups. Cook apples in 1/2 cup water until mushy, about 15 minutes. Combine tomato puree and apple pulp in a large kettle. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently for 45 minutes until thick.

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