Wow, okay, that break was a lot longer than expected. But it has been quite a year! In one sentence: we moved, we started exciting new jobs, unto my best friend an adorable baby was born, we went to Chiapas, Mexico to see our friends get married, we bought a house, my little sister is getting married in a few weeks, and we have had a steady stream of friends and family and babies come to visit. Anyway, I took a pause to focus on all that good stuff and now I'm back.
There is so much I can talk about, but for now I'm going to ease back in with a post on our garden. Because, guys, we have a serious garden now, with raised beds and cages to keep the birds and squirrels away. Our house plants are in varying states of distress -- so much for filling our house with plants to create a lush terrarium feel -- but this garden of ours has been regularly producing 10-15 lbs of fat, juicy, excellent tomatoes per week. If you have any gardeners in your life, you know that we can be super boring this time of year. We have so many amazing tomatoes we can't possibly use them all, she sighed. I know, shut up. We've given some away, we make every kind of salad, we make tomato sauce, we eat them with eggs Turkish and Israeli style, we grill them, we've eaten approximately 112 tomato sandwiches, and once we even fried the green ones. They keep coming.
Lately I've come back to roasting again and again. I used to feel badly about roasting in the middle of summer, because it heats up the house and when tomatoes are this good, you should really eat them raw. But you know what? Roasting is such an easy way to use up a lot of tomatoes in one go. And roasted tomatoes are so good. They lack the freshness of raw tomatoes, but they are zingier and sweeter and more acidic and just more. Tomatoes, turned up to 11. Besides, when tomatoes are piling up on our counter at such a rate, I can't afford to be so high-minded.
This technique is easy and forgiving, and you barely need a recipe. Slice a variety of tomatoes into bite sized chunks. A mix -- heirlooms, cherry, slicers, yellow, orange, purple -- is great, both for beauty and the varying levels of sweetness, juiciness, and acidity. Carve zucchini into batons. I like maybe 1-2 small zucchini for every pound of tomatoes. Scrape everything into a large roasting dish and coat in a good amount of olive oil and salt. Roast at 425 until the zucchini is tender and translucent and the tomatoes are meltingly soft and browned and juicy, 30 minutes or so. This is made for tossing with pasta. Right in the pan. The tomato juices and olive oil meld to form a sweet-savory sauce that only gets better when you add a flurry of grated cheese.
Otherwise, summer has been treating us well. We got a new ceramic charcoal grill -- shaped like an adorable droid from Star Wars, by the way -- and Mark has been regularly turning out some excellent grilled and barbecued foodstuff. Maybe we'll talk about that next time.