October 06, 2014

Fruits of My Labor

Roasted Tomatoes with Parmesan and Olive Oil
 If there's any truth to the old adage that the best things in life are the simplest of pleasures, then a late season tomato harvest has to top the list.

Perhaps it's the constant summer heat that finally takes its toll, but once the vines wilt and wither and look spent, it's then, when the tomatoes hang like bright red ornaments on almost leafless branches that they're at their best. Plump and deep red, they're almost too fragile to handle and threaten to burst--and send their juices forth--with the slightest pressure.

Oddly enough, magazine editors have it all wrong when it comes to showcasing the tomato. While tomatoes grace the covers of magazines throughout the summer months, in my opinion, they don't come into their own until late September. In fact, I'd be willing to wager that the best tomatoes don't arrive on the scene until the first few weeks of October.

These are the most flavorful of all--succulent and intensely sweet, they need no adornment other than the slightest sprinkling of sea salt and a few turns of the pepper mill, but when I've eaten as many as possible and still, they're lined up in a seemingly endless queue on my kitchen counter, I slowly roast them until they caramelize and collapse unto themselves. Lightly dressed with olive oil and Parmesan-Regiano, they're a decadent pleasure when eaten on lightly toasted grainy bread.

Share them with a loved one and serve them with a good glass of wine, of course.