Look at these volunteer tomato plants that came up with my beans this year:
I transplanted a couple into a spot in one of the garden beds and they are doing great. There are even a couple flowers on the plants:
Volunteers from the compost pile that come up in other parts of the garden have worked really well for me. They have produced hearty plants that flourish with an abundant harvest.
So, in anticipation of the boatload of tomatoes in my near future (and yours!), here are a few global ideas for tomato platters. If you are inspired, you can always buy some at the market now. There are tasty tomatoes from greenhouses, Mexico or southern California available, including heirloom varieties, that are juicy and sweet. Pretty soon, local, vine-ripened ones will be here.
Just Tomatoes: alternate slices of yellow, red, and different colored heirloom tomatoes (such as Green Zebra) on a plate. Scatter halved cherry tomatoes overall. Season with salt and pepper.
The Calabrese: slice ripe, red tomatoes and place in a circular pattern on a plate. Top with halved small balls of fresh mozzarella and slivered fresh basil leaves. Finish with a drizzle of good olive oil, fresh ground pepper and salt.
Summer Garden: scatter blanched corn cut off the cob and chilled, blanched green beans over sliced red tomatoes. Sprinkle with chopped, fresh oregano, olive oil, a little balsamic vinegar and some salt and pepper.
The New Mexico: alternate slices of peeled cucumber, tomato and cantaloupe. Sprinkle with pure chile powder and squeeze fresh lime juice overall.
French: dab some fresh, soft goat cheese here and there over a plate of sliced tomatoes. Drizzle with a ribbon of pesto and scatter pitted nicoise olives decoratively on top. Finish with salt and pepper.
Spain: make a platter of sliced tomatoes with roasted red peppers that have been cut into thick slices. Shave Manchego cheese over the platter using a vegetable peeler. Splash a garlicky sherry vinaigrette on top and season with salt and pepper. o