Tomatoes. Proper, homegrown, heirloom tomatoes that smell of marigolds and taste of something rich- not the mealy, anaemic varieties, all perfectly shaped that come in plastic containers shaped like egg crates for tennis balls. After all, they’re a fruit- they’re not supposed to taste of water but vaguely of sugar. And they’re supposed to be deep, deep plasma red not strawberry ice pop.
Coeur de Boeuf are our favourites- misshapen and flavourful, with a pinch of salt and maybe a drizzle of good olive oil. On crusty bread with mayo. On a plate all to themselves. With a few little yellow and red cherries and plum toms to mix it up.
In Dublin, the best we’ve had are actually diced atop bruschetta at Dunne and Crescenzi, who we’re told grow their own because there aren’t any locally available that fit the bill ie. taste of anything.
One little plant on a sunny sill is all it takes – a friend planted six plants in her SoCoDu front garden and ended up knee deep in gazpacho and then tomato chutney straight through the winter- a harvest of over 400, picked as needed (and therefore vine-ripened). It’s not too late- plant now and you could reap the benefits in time for an Indian Summer in September.
Avid gardeners, don’t forget to order your copy of the stunning Garden Heaven annual on (01)2808415 and catch up with other like-minded folk @giyireland, a great source for practical tips on getting started or maximising crops.