So I know that tomatoes aren’t in season right now,
but we are getting ready to plant 3 trays of heirloom tomato seedlings and my freezer still looks like this…
And my egg baskets look like this…
Our tomato plants went NUTS last year. We planted 10 plants of 6 different varieties, Cherokee Purple, Roma, Cherry, Grape, Pink Girl and Black Krim, which didn’t seem like a lot when you have this little seed in your hand and you put it in this little pot of dirt. “Oh isn’t it tiny and cute!” But then like Gremlins, when you get them wet, they just keep producing!
They grew, and grew, and grew, and bloomed, and knocked over every support system we tried to hook up.
And then they ripened and we had more tomatoes than we knew what to do with.
Last summer became a blur of picking, hauling, washing, chopping, coring, boiling, skinning, stewing, roasting, canning and freezing.
Every time I thought we were done, I’d go back down to the garden and there would be more ripened overnight! We made salsa, tomato sauce, gazpacho, stewed tomatoes, roasted tomatoes and tomato paste. My hands even turned a funny greenish purple color from handling so many tomatoes.
Eventually I just gave up and started blending them whole in the food processor and freezing them in zip lock bags.
What we couldn’t find room for in the freezer and canning shelves, we pawned off on the neighbors, relatives, friends. My brother took five full grocery bags to a soup kitchen…and still we have all this!
We’ve eaten a lot of tomatoes this winter and I have to say (complaining aside) that all the hard work was worth it. And even with this bountiful memory fresh in my mind, I will do it again this year. When I pull out a bag or a jar of our delicious flavorful tomatoes to make chili, spaghetti, or just roast them with a little basil as a side dish, summer comes back to me…if only for a few bites.
So in desperation to use us all these tomatoes, and the 18+ eggs we’re getting a day, I Googled “tomato and egg recipes”. Good ole Google!
And here came the fritatas! We eat a lot of fritatas, it’s my “clean out the fridge” meal. I just made one with left over roasted asparagus and ham from Easter. Now I like fritatas as well as the next guy, In fact, I may share another recipe using tomatoes in a fritata with y’all, but I wanted something different…and different I finally found.
When I first read this recipe, I thought ehk! This sounds kinda gross! But the website I found the original recipe from (Food.com) is one that I really like and it gave great reviews, so I thought, at this point…seriously, what do I have to loose!
As it turned out, it was delicious! We liked it so much the first time, I made it two nights in a row and it has become a weekly staple. It sort of reminds me of an Asian sweet and sour type dish, but the eggs make it creamy and more comfort food-esque. Here’s the plan…
Poached Eggs and Tomatoes
- 4-6 cups diced tomatoes
- 1-2 cups tomato juice (I’m using our frozen tomatoes which create a lot of juice as they break down so I skip this step)
- 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- a dash of your favorite hot sauce, I like Cholula
- 4 farm fresh eggs
- 4 chopped green onions (If your spring garlic or chives are sprouting, you can use the green tips)
- sesame seeds
- 2-4 servings of rice (I like Jasmine or brown rice, but any will do)
Add olive oil to a good size pan. saute the tomatoes until they start to break down slightly. Add tomato juice, vinegar, sesame oil, honey, garlic salt and hot sauce. Bring to a boil. You want to reduce it by approximately a third, but still have enough juice to poach the eggs. Add more juice if it looks too dry.
While the sauce is boiling down, get the rice going, (follow directions on package) and chop up some green onions.
When the rice is done and the sauce has simmered for about 20 minutes, crack the eggs into the sauce and spoon the hot tomatoes over the eggs to poach.
When the eggs have turned white over the yolk, plate the rice and top with an egg or two and cover with lots of the tomato sauce. Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.
When the yolks break open they give the sauce a creamy consistency and it’s warm and sort of tangy. I promise, this dish is really good!
Are you getting ready to start your heirloom seeds? Check out Community Chicken’s very own, Jennifer Burke of 1840 Farm and her new Heirloom Seed Collection offering old world, historic varieties of some of the most delicious and original vegetable and flower species. There’s even a special Tomato Collection! I was lucky enough to take part in this exciting new venture as 1840 Farm invited me, (Jennifer Sartell) to do do the illustrations that will accompany each variety. Prints are available in the Iron Oak Farm Shop on Etsy.