“Good Morning Ms. Phelps. Your mission, should you chose to
accept it, is to open the TakeHome box and taste a dry-farmed tomato.
After having tasted this tomato—if you or your family should
be transported to a place faraway, where bland grocery store tomatoes
never taste good to you again—the Secretary of Agriculture
will disavow any knowledge of your actions.”
The dry-farmed Tomatoes in your TakeHome box this week were grown by
the dynamic duo Keith Abeles and Kevin McEnnis of Quetzal Farm in
Sebastopol (Sonoma County). It takes steel nerves to grow dry-farmed
tomatoes. A sumptuous clay hummus needs to be prepared for the soil,
then seedlings are planted and watered deeply—just once. It
goes against the grain of every home gardener, but that's why we leave
dry-farmed tomatoes to the professionals. We expect you will find
these tomatoes to have a rich and concentrated tomato flavor.
Due to this summer’s cool weather, the crop has taken its time
to come in, but now that they’re here, they won't last long.
Kevin says their regular customers have been waiting impatiently:
“Our Berkeley farmer's market customers are circling the stall
like foodie sharks,” he said. So enjoy them while they last.
Slice and eat or try them in a quick summer sauce: sauté
garlic and oil, add tomatoes and heat until they just break apart
(about 5 minutes), then add basil briefly at the end. Remove and pour
on your favorite pasta. The slightly thicker skin of these tomatoes
also holds up well in any salad.
We don’t know if there is a nutritional difference between
dry-farmed and conventionally grown tomatoes, but no matter how
they’re grown, organic tomatoes are off the charts in
bio-available nutrients. One cup of chopped tomato contains 34 mg of
Vitamin C, that's 57% of your RDA. An excellent source of Vitamins A
and K, it is the carotenoid Lycopene that give tomatoes their
excellent nutritional rating. Enjoy these juicy returns of the dry