Monday, January 22, 2007

The First Tomatoes of Summer

The Figman loves birdsong. Me, I'm pretty indifferent and at times, downright irritated with birds. But he has books scattered around the house from a childhood passion as a birdwatcher and when visitors bring me the Silver Spoon, he gets given a new pair of binoculars.

But he loves his tomatoes more. He has been tending these plants since early October last year and was waiting, breath-bated, for the first crop to ripen. Ever so slowly, with our weird weather this summer, and then two weeks ago it appeared the day had come.

Until I walked into the kitchen early one morning and spotted a blackbird pecking at an orange object in the backyard. I banged on the window and, startled, the bird flew away. But left his destruction behind and the Figman was furious. "Bloody birds" he swore and went off to Bunnings to buy a new set of nets.

In the meantime, the rest of the fruit on the unprotected vine was brought inside to ripen on the benchtop. I'm still waiting for those to deepen into red, but the first few tomatoes have been plucked, warm from the sun, and hastily chopped into a quick dinner for three.

Quick pizza

I used to be a make-your-own-yeast-dough-and-pizza-sauce-from-scratch girl, but these are so quick and tasty that I doubt I'll ever go back.

Souvlaki bread toasted on one side
Heaped teaspoon of coriander pesto
Heaped teaspoon of ketchup (a bona fide Italian taught me this, so I refuse to feel ashamed!)
Swirl the two pastes on the soft side of the souvlaki. Add sliced cheese, anchovies, onions and fresh tomatoes and grill until cheese melts.

If I'd remembered in time, I'd have added the fresh basil before I took the photo. But there are times to prance around with cameras and there are times to get the dinner on the table. Maybe next time, as there should be a bountiful summer of tomatoes to come!


At 10:05 AM, Blogger Lucy said...

What a great way of making pizza! Love the tomato sauce idea. Our tomatoes are being eaten by the birds as well, but there are just enough left for us to enjoy.

At 9:31 PM, Anonymous Lucy said...

Deeply impressed by the tomatoes...and the lettuce. My pathetic herb garden has all but died, and that's despite my diligently schlepping buckets of shower water out to the garden every day...

At 10:13 AM, Blogger plum said...

Hi Lucy - I suspect F will be more generous with the birds once he gets a few tomatoes for himself! And yes, the weather's really been hammering the garden this year.

At 9:27 PM, Blogger Lazy cow said...

Went to Safeway last night and got some souvlaki bread to freeze for those pizzas. We usually do a very quick 5 minute pizza dough every Friday night, which is no trouble at all, but this idea is great for weekend lunches. Thanks!
And, lucky you with getting any tomatoes, ours are pea-size and pea-green.

At 11:49 PM, Blogger Squishy said...

Home grown the only way to go!


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