I buy them every. single. week. Even if it’s -4°F and there is literal snow on the ground. It’s like I’ve never heard the plaintive cries to “shop locally” and “eat seasonally”. I get it. It can be cheaper, it’s definitely tastier, and it’s certainly better for you, your local economy and the earth in general. It’s also a much more Pinterest worthy vignette to be sniffing the butts of tomatoes at the farmer’s market like I actually know a thing or two, than shivering by the produce misters at my local Acme. But I still keep putting them in my cart every week. My excuse? They’re handy to toss in salads, pasta, a weeknight frittata. But if I’m really being honest (and what person is not at their most genuine and truthful then when shouting from a crudely constructed internet soapbox?) they don’t taste very good.
They’re not inedible, but they don’t add anything to our meals other than possibly color and more likely relief that I’m actually eating a vegetable (or a fruit if we’re being pedantic). The only exception I’m willing to make is this. It’s a dead easy Jamie Oliver dish that has made its way into heavy rotation in our house. Picture this: beautifully crisp-skinned, dark meat chicken, doused with several glugs of extra virgin olive oil and oozing with caramelized garlic and juicy, oven-roasted tomatoes.
It’s mostly hands off, can be tarted up a dozen different ways and is always delicious. But to double down on the honesty train – I have NEVER made this dish when tomatoes are actually in season! If you read the recipe, it calls for ripe tomatoes — what’s that? All my tomatoes are light in color, rock hard, and have no discernible aroma whatsoever.
So in my small corner of the internet I’m making a well-meaning if probably flimsy-at-best vow to not buy a tomato (unless canned, or I happen to be in Australia) until people are wearing shorts, dining al fresco, and drinking rosé with ice cubes.
So that said – make the Jamie Oliver recipe, but maybe in June.