Tomatoes And Tacos

I’m trying to hoard the stash of tomatoes I bought at the Omaha Farmers Market. Since tomatoes are highly perishable, I can’t hoard for long, but I’m trying to string out their fresh taste for as long as possible.

I know that these tomatoes are just a taste of things to come later this summer. But my lone tomato plant won’t bear fruit for a long time, and even though the local farmers markets will open in about a month, I don’t foresee tomatoes being among the offerings until sometime in later July.

The tomatoes I purchased in Omaha were grown hydroponically in a greenhouse somewhere in southern Iowa, I believe. Despite their indoor origins, they have that unique, fresh-picked flavor and aroma.

One night this week, I cut up a large yellow tomato for use in a pasta salad. (I made vinaigrette from olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and a little garlic and tossed it with bowtie pasta, the chopped tomato and onion.)

The next evening, I made a batch of salsa, using up one each of the yellow, orange and red tomatoes. The orange tomato was the meatiest — it hardly had any seeds — and most fragrant of the bunch. The salsa and some sliced avocado were the perfect toppings for the tacos that Hubby Bryan cooked up on the stove.

Three tomatoes remain, and I haven’t quite decided their fate. Maybe tomato-tortilla tarts made on the grill?

The taco recipe, by the way, is a method that I learned from a high school friend who had lived in California before moving to Worthington. A similar recipe, credited to Rita Hansen, was printed in DotMom’s “Mixing & Musing Cookbook.” We often freeze the extra meat to use on nachos.

Terrific Tacos

Brown 2 pounds ground beef with ½ cup chopped onion; drain fat. Add 1 can enchilada sauce (mild, medium or hot, depending on individual taste preferences) and 1 package taco seasoning. Let simmer for about 15 minutes, until mixture has thickened.

Serve in taco shells or flour tortillas with lettuce, cheese and tomato.