At the last North Berwick Farmers’ Market in late October I was able to grab a couple of pints of Juliet tomatoes from Moondance Gardens before they disappeared for the season. My first encounter with the Juliet several years ago was less then promising — it seemed too small to use as a paste tomato, yet too large as a cherry. Since then, I’ve come to appreciate its versatility as a sauce or salad tomato. Its fleshiness also makes it just right for roasting and drying, methods that bring out its best qualities. Though it’s a hybrid, I noticed that the Juliet shares many characteristics with the Principe Borghese, and wondered if storing capability was one of them.
Since October 28th, these Juliets have been kept in our basement (60°F, 40% humidity) along with the other pomodorini. They’re being held loose on a tray lined with a kitchen towel, uncovered to allow air circulation. At seven weeks, they’re aging by degrees, slowly wrinkling without becoming rotten. Once they’re cut up, they reveal their still fresh interiors.
There’s less than a pint left of this now precious fruit, and we’ve been portioning them out carefully. We’ve been enjoying them especially with scrambled eggs. This humble dish is elevated by ingredients that have come from nearby and grown with care.
Eggs with tomatoes reminds me of traveling in China where it was served to us often. However, a quick search shows many variations existing throughout different cultures. Most instruct scrambling the eggs first, then adding the tomatoes. We find that cooking the tomatoes before adding the eggs gives fluffier, less weepy results. The tomatoes are sauteed briefly, only until they begin to relax. The proportions will vary with the size of the tomatoes and is entirely up to one’s taste; here we used four eggs to six of the Juliet tomatoes.
There are numerous ways of varying this dish with what’s on hand, but it’s also satisfying in its plainest state. As we neared the solstice, each bite of December tomato was savored as a reminder of longer days to come.
Note: Used last of the Juliet tomatoes on January 15, 2012.