Lately, I’ve been up to my elbows in tomatoes. This? is a good thing. The boyfriend and I have been hitting the farmers’ market week after week since our return from Rome, and tomatoes are tops on our list. Our tomato purchases seem to increase from week to week because they’re just that good and there’s so much you can do with them. This week, he was in New York for a bachelor party and I went to the market alone. We’re heading to the beach next weekend, which means no market for us (we’ll hit some of the produce stands on the way up). So what did I stock up on? Tomatoes? The bag was so heavy I had to lift it with both arms, tilt backward to counter the weight so I wouldn’t fall forward and land on my face. But I had to have them.
Because what is summer without tomatoes, after all? The ones you find at most grocery stores are flavorless and hard. Their flesh is orangey instead of a marvelous red. You can’t smell them and you can hardly taste them. Even in summer when tomatoes are in season, there’s really no comparison between store and soil. And the heirloom tomatoes! If you only went to the store, you’d never know about Mr. Stripey or the Cherokee Purple?
I’ve making lots of salads and salsa and slicing them up for caprese salad and for burgers. I’ve been throwing them into sauce pans and cooking up spaghetti puttanesca. I’ve been dicing them up and cooking it with fish, and in this recipe in particular, which is so good that I want to tip the tomatoes directly into my mouth and skip the fish altogether. But trust me, the fish and the sauce together? As my friend Rob would say, it’s ACES.