TomatoMania- A Summer to Relish

TomatoMania is coming to an end. Sad, but true. Summer is fading; my tomato plants are too.

Next week I will cook and present the very last of the winning entries in the TomatoMania contest. It’s a recipe for “fried” spaghetti from my buddy Eric, at Eric Rivera Cooks. Let’s just say his is nothing like Chef Boyardee’s. It’s an adventure all its own!

But as the tomato growing season winds down, its fun to look back and see where this whole adventure began. Believe it or not it started way back in March when we were introduced to Scott Daigre, Mr. TomatoMania himself. He took on the role of head tomato cheerleader. Since then we have had an astonishing 30 posts devoted to growing, harvesting, enjoying the mighty Tom!

Of course there was the TomatoMania recipe contest too. 6 readers got to have their winning recipes printed onto recipe cards. We handed these out at the Los Angeles Garden Show, and Scott also brought the cards around with him to his TomatoMania seedling sales across the United States. There is no way of knowing how many people discovered these great  food blogs by picking up one of these recipe cards.

tomato relish for TomatoManiaSo it is only fitting that we let Scott close out TomatoMania 2009. He will also have a few parting words of wisdom.

Something to keep us poor TomatoManiacs satiated until next years planting and harvest.

But that is not till next week.

Today I have another SippitySup tomato recipe for you to “relish”. That’s right it’s a condiment, but this one could pass as a salad too. It’s great alongside grilled meats and chicken. I have served it on a burger too. It’s better than any ketchup you could buy in the store.

But I think it really shines with fish. I am serving mine with baked halibut.

But this relish– is very versatile. It’s bold enough to hold up to big flavors, but it is so delicious that it can define more subtle or more simply prepared foods as well. It can even be served all on its own.

For that reason I see no need to suggest how you use these tomatoes. With creativity like yours, I know you will come up with something terrific. I do suggest however, I suggest you use a colorful combination of tomatoes, both beefsteak and cherry varieties.

Chopped Tomato Relish with Fried Garlic and Capers Serves 4


  • tomato relish with garlic and oregano1 lb ripe tomatoes, in varying sizes and colors
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 3 clv garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs of oregano, leaves picked from stems
  • 2 t coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 c capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar

Core and cut the larger tomatoes into 1/2 inch chunks. Slice the larger cherry tomatoes in half, leaving the smaller ones whole. Transfer them all to a serving dish.

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet set over medium heat. Add the garlic slices and fry them in the oil until they are crisp and golden brown. Remove it from the heat to cool slightly, but you want to make sure the oil is still quite warm when you use it.

Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper. Next add the capers to the bowl. Toss the oregano leaves on top. Then pour the hot oil over the mixture. It will slightly wilt the relish where it comes in contact with the tomatoes, capers and oregano.

Add the red wine vinegar and toss the mixture well.

It will keep in the refrigerator up to one week.


Greg Henry