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Show and Tell: Tomatoes Comin’ On!

September 14, 2008

It’s my favorite time of the year, fall. The nights are getting cooler, the hummingbirds are getting sparser, and the bounty in the garden and farmer’s market is plentiful.

Where I live, the nights get too cool, even in the summer, to get an abundant tomato harvest. I’ve planted tomatoes in other places I have lived in the state, but I’ve never bothered here since we get a lot of cool nights in the summer. Warm nights are crucial to tomato fruiting. But what the heck, I gave it a go this summer, and I did actually get some tomatoes.

I planted two San Marzano tomato plants. Normally, I’d go for the Romas for plum tomatoes, but the Master Gardener at the plant sale convinced me I’d like these more than the Roma variety. The other tomato variety I planted, the Thessalonika, was excellent in flavor, but I got a disappointing harvest. I’m getting a decent harvest on the San Marzanos, but I don’t think I am going to have enough to can. So what’s a gardener to do?

It’s a cool, rainy morning today, so it’s a perfect morning to make a leisurely breakfast that includes San Marzano tomatoes! I’d like to share one of my favorite recipes with you, courtesy of Suzanne Somers. Yeah, the girl can cook! If you are bored of cooking eggs the same old way, this is a refreshing new way to start your day.

Eggs in Tomatoes and Red Peppers

1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium-size red onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
about 10 fresh San Marzano plum tomatoes from the garden, or one 28-oz can of plum tomatoes, drained and chopped (this is what the recipe actually calls for, but I usually put in one 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes)
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
4 eggs
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Heat a 10-inch saute pan on medium heat. Add the olive oil and the red onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook for another 7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. If using fresh plum tomatoes, you can remove the skins first, if you like. To do that, boil a pot of water. Put the plum tomatoes in the boiling water. Remove them with a slotted spoon when the skins split. Cool a little, and pull off the skins.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Prepare for the next step by breaking each egg into a separate custard cup or small bowl. This is important so that you can put all the eggs in the pan at the same time for even cooking. You will be basically poaching the eggs in the tomato mixture you just created. Increase the heat to medium-low before cooking the eggs. Make four small wells in the tomato mixture (see picture above). Pour each egg into a well. Cover with the lid and cook until the whites have set but yolks are still runny. I’ve timed it to exactly 3 minutes. If the tops are still runny, you can put the pan under a broiler for 1 minute, but you need to have it ready ahead of time. Timing the eggs is crucial if you like runny yolks, like I do. Remove the eggs from the pan immediately after cooking to prevent the yolks from cooking anymore.

Since I don’t eat dairy, I skip the feta cheese part, but you can sprinkle the feta over everything and serve immediately. Yum!!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Lori permalink
    September 14, 2008 2:31 pm

    Bookmarking this one for a future Sunday. Yum!

  2. Kristin permalink
    September 14, 2008 5:27 pm

    Oooh…that sounds really good. And your tomatoes look fabulous!

  3. Another Dreamer permalink
    September 14, 2008 6:19 pm

    I’m not much of a pepper person but that looks good.

  4. Delenn permalink
    September 14, 2008 7:55 pm

    Oh that looks yummy!!

  5. battynurse permalink
    September 15, 2008 2:16 am

    The tomatoes look wonderful. I typically don’t do peppers so I would pass on the egg thing but it looks like a fabulous recipe if you like peppers.

  6. JuliaS permalink
    September 15, 2008 9:40 am

    Now that is not fair! I came here on a empty stomach!The tomatoes are beautiful – they look absolutely perfect!Saving the recipe for a future meal. :0)Thanks for sharing!

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