“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.”
Spicy Vine Tomato Relish … I think this was a fitting end to my ‘harvest’ of cherry tomatoes. It was a tough choice. I waited forever, read almost 6 months, for the tomato plants to grow, then flower, then finally bear fruit.
Waited with baited breath to see if they would turn red, yellow or orange as the different packets of seeds suggested. Warded the hungry Coco off them as she took a serious shine to them and stole a mouthful whenever she could. I guarded them with my life. Literally.
Finally I got nice big bowlfuls to harvest, some cherry tomatoes and some plump bigger red ones too. I didn’t have the heart to eat them. I wouldn’t let anyone near them. Oh the irony. I could not bear to let them go!
This was the first time I had grown tomatoes and couldn’t believe my luck. They were so pretty. Nature never ceases to amaze. Fresh produce inspires like nothing else. I shot them whenever I could. They shone in every light. The shadows haunted me, in a good sort of a way that is. Thanks to Neel @ Learn Food Photography with his 30 Days of Better Food Photos, I dreamt, breathed, lived and shot tomatoes on the vine. All the time. Then reality struck! I had to get moving before they went away unsung. I headed for What Katie Ate. She always inspires. ALWAYS! I knew I had to make the Spicy Vine Tomato Relish. I whiled the day away experimenting with light again. So fulfilling. From pretty fresh tomatoes, to roasted on the vine tomatoes, to being stirred in the pot tomatoes, I lived it all. Tomato therapy!!
You might think I was walking the obsessive line, but I really enjoyed it. You might wonder what all the fuss about a simple relish is? This relish is like my baby. I feel emotional about it, have a deep connect with it. My heart sings each day when the lad comes back from school saying “That was the best sandwich ever. My friends think so too.“
Serve it with crackers and crudites. Smoked chicken ham roll ups with a teeny relish hint within, mini burgers that get a spicy kick all make irresistible hors d’oeuvre. The spicy vine tomato relish is a great addition for the cheese board too. It’s something you can get creative with. With summer here, finger foods rule in our home. Yours?
Interestingly a recent survey in the UK by Ladbrokes Bingo found that 19% of women would prefer to bake or cook with their friends than hit the town with the girls. 40% said that they would put on a few nibbles & 23% said that they would lay on a buffet so finger food or food that is easily shared is popular!
Sign of the times to come? Never has food been so comforting, so uniting, so central to conversation, such an emotional experience. The more I immerse myself into this delicious world, the more emotional and connected I feel. I’d say join the party. Make relish! Have fun!
Bruschetta with some relish, feta and fresh herbs, a cheese platter with sharp cheddar and relish, chicken ham roll ups with mozzarella relish and crisp bell peppers… the possibilities are endless. I even slathered a focaccia sandwich with it. Nom Nom Nom…
Yesterday I woke up early and headed to the kitchen to make one last batch to use up the remaining tomatoes. I wished I could just preserve the little beauties on the vine. Relish was the next best option!
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