Tomato Bruschetta


Have I bragged about my tomatoes yet? No? A little bit? I GREW MY OWN TOMATOES. Or rather, I didn’t kill the plants I bought at Home Depot. (Speaking of – last week W exclaimed from the back seat: “Wow Mom! Look at that big huge building! Is that the hospital?” Me: “No, that’s Home Depot.”)

I planted them in June-ish, in a soil-filled double sink beside my fence, and they grew a ton of fruit – a small patio variety plus the usual cherries – and they keep on coming, even though their leaves and stalks have started to turn the colour and texture of straw.

A few weeks ago A brought over a fantastic tomato salad made with prime specimens from her in-law’s yard in BC. I couldn’t believe how good it was. I ate it for days, even though it started to turn into a sort of cold, chunky tomato soup. I drank the dregs from the bowl. I emailed to ask for the recipe: tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil, a drip of balsamic, salt and pepper. Really, that’s all you need when tomatoes are this good.

I did it again: chopped tomatoes and added the wee-est amount of oil, balsamic, S&P. Then mounded it on toast, rubbed with a cut clove of garlic and drizzled with green olive oil.

The cherry pie I (sadly) cannot take credit for – you may recognize it as something photographed in a dark restaurant (get used to this – I’m leaving for Vegas in T minus 19 hours). I went to a special preview screening of Fresh (the movie) at the new District (gastropub) and had a slice of chef Heather’s cherry-strawberry pie, topped with vanilla gelato. If you want the recipe, she has a full-on video on their blog. And if you’re interested in seeing Fresh (the movie), they are offering another (FREE) screening on Tuesday the 15th, with (FREE) eats. (Again, their blog has the details.)

NEXT TIME I POST IT WILL BE FROM VEGAS! We’re (all 18 of us) staying here – ironic that someone who refuses to wear a swimsuit is staying at a hotel with an 11-acre beach in 39 degree weather.
(And what’s over-21, European-style bathing, anyway? Am I too naive to go to Vegas?)

One Year Ago: Baked Pasta with Garlic, Spinach, Zucchini and Goat Cheese


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21 comments on “Tomato Bruschetta

  1. Buddiegirl
    September 10, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Umm could it possibly mean topless bathing?? I am of an age and body type that I would get kicked off the beach if I were to go topless!!

    Homegrown tomatoes are the best. When I used to grow them, I would eat tomatoes at every meal and never got tired of them. My best summer produced 70 lbs of tomatoes and I shared them with everyone I knew. I made a lot of friends that summer.

    As Guy Clark (singer/songwriter) says “Only two things that money can’t buy
    that’s true love & homegrown tomatoes”. You can check him out on youtube.

  2. Erica B.
    September 10, 2009 at 8:37 pm

    European bathing is code for topless – which is why a lot of the pools don’t allow children. Going topless isn’t required but don’t be surprised when granny walks by without half her bathing suit. 😉

    Enjoy your trip – oh and if you find the time to hit a grocery store I hear Fage yogurt (not available in Canada because of import restrictions) is the best thing next to the real deal from Greece.

    Have fun!

  3. Elaine
    September 11, 2009 at 6:46 am

    I went to the farmer’s market this week for the express purpose of getting bruised/old/ugly tomatoes to slow-roast. Found a farmer who sold me 25 lbs. for–wait for it–five bucks. He was quite taciturn though, so I had to try and be cool until I was well away.

    Countless baggies of roasted tomatoes and tomato paste later, I’m planning on going back at least three more times. Maybe even to pick up some unbruised fruit for this salad–it looks stellar!

    Enjoy Vegas!

  4. Kate
    September 11, 2009 at 6:34 am

    Tis true… European bathing is sans tops. It’s one place a snapshot will not be tolerated 🙂
    Fage yogurt is produced in a city 25 miles from me and it is wonderful. Yogurt with a consistency of sour cream and crème fraîche. It’s decadent.
    How many people do you know in Vegas? I say… if you’re at a European style bathing beach… what the heck!!! Get your suit on and relax, you won’t even be looked at with all the exhibits on parade!! Enjoy!

  5. Lana
    September 11, 2009 at 8:52 am

    I was like, a beach? in Vegas? WT..?
    SO I clicked on the link, and everybody so needs to see this place.
    How will you ever leave, Julie?
    Oh, yes, and the tomatoes… are so right.

  6. Lana
    September 11, 2009 at 8:54 am

    I agree with Kate. Topless on a beach is fantastic. I did it (actually totally nude) in Australia b/c I figured, you only live once and why not? NOBODY WILL REMEMBER ME ANYWAY.
    Seriously, Julie. Go for it.
    Be a succulent wild woman!

  7. JulieVR
    September 11, 2009 at 9:00 am

    Sorry Lana, you I can see (OK, that came out wrong, but you know what I mean!) doing the topless beach thing – but me? THERE IS NO WAY. You could not get enough mai tais into me!!

  8. Robyn in Mountain (Ontario that is)
    September 11, 2009 at 9:01 am

    I love bruschetta! But hey, what is “green” olive oil?

  9. JulieVR
    September 11, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Oh just a nice extra-virgin olive oil – they tend to be a lovely shade of green!

  10. Hélène
    September 11, 2009 at 9:06 am

    I was raised on a farm and we grown our own vegetables. I miss the tomatoes the most. There is nothing like it. What a great bruschetta 🙂

  11. Nancy Botelho
    September 11, 2009 at 10:45 am

    European can also = bare nekked!! Brace yourself! We went to Greece on our honeymoon and I did the topless thing…newly married (read thin) before kids and nursing! Wouldn’t do it now though!!

    Re tomatoes, oh yes, so good! I do that with the olive oil etc., let it sit (but I add garlic) and toss with pasta – kids adore that. Also eating lots of grilled bread salad with tomato and basil, so delish. Canning tomatoes tomorrow, already tired at the thought, but those bright happy jars in the winter will be heaven! Have a FABULOUS time in Vegas!!!!!

  12. Andrea
    September 11, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Hey, if you hate bathing suits, European-style bathing should be perfect:) I am forever scarred by the woman bouncing on the diving board on our family vacation to Holland when i was 9 – so maybe avoid those!

  13. Natalie (Georgia)
    September 11, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    oh boy – the stories you’ll be able to tell — or won’t tell!

    Left a bulging garden of green tomatoes in Michigan
    🙁 . I miss all my fresh basil too!

  14. Penny
    September 11, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Kind of enjoying the nude bathing topic together with the tomatoes, uh, is there a connection here?

    I am reflecting on a very pleasant swim with my love off the French coast south of Bordeaux. We had enjoyed a late afternoon picnic in the dunes and noticed all the French folks were going home! Since we had the beach and the Atlantic Ocean to ourselves, we shucked our duds and frolicked au natural in the water. It was naughty and fun. I like how open the Europeans are… we all have the same parts, what’s the big secret? Sigh, perhaps I should mention, there’s NO WAY I would have disrobed if there would have been one other person on that beach.
    Whatever you decide to do Julie, I know you will do it with passion. Enjoy.

  15. Christina
    September 12, 2009 at 7:10 am

    You grew you own Tomatoes!?!?!?! That’s so awesome! My grandma had the most beautiful vegetable garden here in Calgary (in one of the older neighborhoods with the massive backyards) and I loved the tomatoes! That’s it! You’ve inspired me yet again! Next year I will be growing my own!!
    As for the nude sun bathing (or topless), I don’t think could go there … seriously, nobody (other than my husband) want to see that!! LOL
    Have a great time in vegas!

  16. Robyn in Mountain (Ontario that is)
    September 12, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Happy trip to Vegas, Julie! And thanks for answering my green olive oil question. My different brands of organic never seem to be green, but I’ll keep my eyes open for some. Cheers!

  17. jenn in niagara
    September 12, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    ohhh so jealous of your trip to vegas!! have a tonne of fun! i went a few years back and at at the cheesecake factory, it had big portions, but a bit of pricetag…i went to breakfast once at the belaggio…and i still can remember the tastes of it…i had the french toast best ever! and their regular coffee was superb….very satisfying! my friend had the eggs benedict, it was great as well
    that should be interesting the european style bathing…have fun…let loose!
    cant wait to see the pictures of your food adventures there!

  18. thepinkpeppercorn
    September 12, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    mmmm! Simplicity with great ingredients is definitely the best!!

  19. Carol SB
    September 13, 2009 at 6:19 am

    So. Nude sunbathing. Tomatoes. Would it be OK if I broach the topic of peaches now? Or is that going over the line…
    FINALLY got a box of perfect, gorgeous BC peaches at the Farmers Market. And of course all 20 lbs. are ripe and perfect NOW, and there’s only so much I can do… has anyone tried roasting peaches before freezing them? (per Julie’s Roasted Peach Ice Cream last year)
    And anyway, Julie, I do think TOASTING peaches would be OK. Depending on where you are at the time, of course…

  20. Natalie Collins
    September 14, 2009 at 5:19 am

    Here in Ottawa, Ontario, we’ve had a LOT of rain this summer, and the tomatoes are LOVING IT. We only bought three plants from the home garden centre, but we have SO MANY TOMATOES. Peolple come to visit, and we send them home with a bucket. My daughter brings a whole tomato in her lunch to school to eat like an apple. Salsa. Spaghetti sauce. So. Many. Tomatoes.

  21. BigGirlPhoebz
    September 18, 2009 at 5:51 am

    These tomatoes are absolutely gorgeous. I was inspired by Julia and Julia to make a similar bruschetta a few weeks back. I loved the way Powell fried up the bread in the movie. So decadent. But you’re right, really all you need is a drizzle of balsamic and some good olive oil. In case you want to see my version of J&J Bruschetta: ttp://


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