the best way to eat a ripe tomato
The season of the tomato has arrived.
This season holds no small meaning for Love Apple, a farm named for the fruit I used to believe was red and round. This week, after a spell of perfect hot summer days, I lost that illusion for good—here tomatoes are orange, pink, black, gold, green and white, their shape long like a sausage or accommodating fantastic bulges. I always knew that tomatoes were Cynthia’s specialty, the cultivated passion that led the farm into the relationship it has with Manresa today. Now I finally understand: there are so many experiences a tomato can offer, and its season is the time to relish that variety.
With one season arriving, one has also drawn to a close. My friend and roommate Lisette left the farm this week, and as we all spent Saturday night drinking pitchers of IPA in downtown Santa Cruz we had our own little version of “farm dinner questions” to celebrate her time here. She asked us to remember a time we’d laughed with (or at) her, and the stories that came up were all of the “only on the farm…” variety, from dancing in the greenhouse on a winter’s morning to an episode I can only describe as involving zucchinis and a toilet. For my part, when I think of Lisette I remember the way she always greeted me with an enthusiastic “Miss B!” when we crossed paths in the garden. I’d never had a nickname from a friend before (“Sara” being somewhat lacking in wordplay potential), and it made me grin almost as much as I would when we’d sit in the kitchen after dinner giggling hysterically over Rowan Atkinson in Blackadder.
Lisette was the most knowledgeable among us apprentices when it came to the tomatoes on the farm, so it is in her honor that I want to share my favorite way of eating a ripe tomato. Nothing fussy, it’s something I’ve had every day this week for lunch. In fact I had to make it three times before I could photograph it today–not because it had to be perfect, but because I was hungry and found myself unable to resist a bite before I had the chance to get my camera.
The Best Way to Eat a Ripe Tomato
The key here is ingredients: ripe tomato, creamy avocado, good bread and a nice salty piece of cheese.
1 large ripe tomato
1/2 ripe avocado
slice of German wheat bread
1 or 2 slices of aged gouda or parmesan
salt & pepper
Toast your bread until crispy and golden, then layer with sliced avocado, thick slices of tomato, and cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy!