Too many tomatoes?

Can you ever have too many tomatoes?

A few weeks ago, I would have said no. Faced with a garden stubbornly refusing to yield its usual summertime bumper crop, I started stocking up at farmers’ markets. A sympathetic friend donated extras from his yard. The cherry tomatoes finally started producing.

We pounced on the first tomato sandwich and the first bagel-and-tomato sprinkled with slivers of basil. Marveled at the first BLT of the season, on fresh bread from the farmers’ market with Duke’s mayonnaise. Made several batches of Tomato-Field Pea Salad With Garlic Mayonnaise, a favorite from chef Scott Peacock of Watershed restaurant in Decatur, Ga.

The tomatoes kept coming. I counted 24 slicers on the counter, and dozens of grape and cherry tomatoes.

I blended up a batch of Barbara Kafka’s Gazpacho, a super-garlicky, slightly spicy take on the summertime soup. Made sure the kids had plenty of grape tomatoes for their lunches. Dropped them into salads. Sliced and sautéed them for omelets: turkey pepperoni, mozzarella and Italian seasoning for my son’s favorite pizza omelet, and with roasted eggplant, zucchini and goat cheese for me. Poured through the August issue of Gourmet magazine and settled on Tomato and Corn Pie, a two-hour concoction that didn’t seem worth the effort until I tasted the bright punch of the lemon mayonnaise smeared between layers.

And now, well, with the tomatoes running low, I asked my husband to pick up a few at a farmers’ market in North Georgia. It seemed a safe bet. A friend just dropped by with another batch. I’m back up to 15 slicers on the counter and dozens of ripe cherry tomatoes waiting on the vine.

If I hadn’t run across my copy of Amy Goldman’s “The Heirloom Tomatoes” in a forgotten box in the basement yesterday, I’d be panicking. Instead, I’m trying to decide between Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes and Toasted Crumbs, Thai Tomato Cocktail and Fried Green Tomatoes. I might test my aversion to tomato aspic and try Terrine of Tomatoes With Tarragon, which would take care of the few leaves left on the tarragon and let me use the Jamie Oliver terrine mold I picked up on clearance earlier this month at TJ Maxx’s HomeGoods.

Too many tomatoes? Not yet. But if you’ve got a recipe you love, please share.


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