Some of the sturdy herbs I left out in hopes they’ll last till Thanksgiving when I can fold parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme into the traditional dishes.
But the basils, jalapeno and my fancy leaf geranium were pulled inside to be turned into pesto, pickled peppers and a favored house plant. Harvesting and saving a thing or two is pretty much a part of my yearly garden ritual, but I did add a bit of a twist this time around…
The delay the cool weather posed in the ripening of my heirloom tomatoes meant that I had two plants — Isis candy and rosalita — that were covered with green, small-fruit tomatoes. I just couldn’t bring myself to abandon them to frigid fall.
So, in came two tomato plants that I hoped would ripen next to my glass sliders — bathed in the sunlight from a southern exposure and warmed by gas-forced heat.
I would show you a photo of the plants, but with mixed brown leaves and straggly stems resulting from the low-40s temps they suffered before being brought in, they look sorta sad. The fruit, however, is looking good and there is a daily crop of tomatoes to take to the table.
I must say, though, that what the pitiful-looking plants detract from my interior decor is offset by the amusing sight of my domesticated feline winding his way through the pots like a big cat prowling the bush.
Instead of showing you the declining plants, I thought I’d show you a photo of the fabulous tomatoes they’re producing… indoors! Below is a recipe for the simple vinaigrette that accompanies them. (Click on photo to enlarge.)
Heirloom tomatoes with lemon basil vinaigrette: Rinse off heirloom tomatoes and dry. Slice the largest in half and arrange on a platter. For the vinaigrette, combine 1/4 cup champagne vinegar, 1/4 cup lemon basil leaves and 3/4 cup olive oil in a food processor or blender and pulse. Add kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Spoon over the tomatoes and serve.