A Festival of Tomatoes

This past weekend, I became the luckiest eater on earth.

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The chef/owner of Erik’s farm holds monthly farm-to-table dinners on the property throughout the summer. Last weekend happened to be the Festival of Tomatoes.

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Tickets are $175 per person (eeeeek!!), but since Erik’s working there, he gets to attend one for free …

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… and bring me!! 😀

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I made it to the farm after work on Friday at around 5:45, just in time for cocktail hour.

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I’m not really a drinker, but I’m a sucker for anything with fresh fruit that does not taste alcoholic. This “nightshade cocktail” fit the bill, so I had three in rapid succession.

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And I pounced on the hors d’oeuvres, like this puff of amazingness full of oozing cheese.

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And this cute farmer.

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And the cold tomato soup shooter with mini clam cake (!!!).

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And the seared tuna with avocado and micro beet green.

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Just past 6, we made our way to the dinner table, appropriately festooned with the stars of the evening.

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We could not stop admiring the menu. Here’s Lindsay, Erik’s co-apprentice, modeling the work of art.

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We started with buttery bread … slathered in fresh butter.

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Mmmmmmmm, butter.

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The first course — “Heirloom tomato and eggplant terrine with almond and saffron” — was a masterpiece in itself.

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This was perhaps the most high maintenance preparation of tomatoes and eggplant imaginable … and it was also my favorite course.

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I have no idea how they managed to plate so many dishes with this fragile tomato mosaic as fast as they did!

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Next up: Lemon and cilantro grilled flounder, Wellfleet clams, green zebra tomato with corn, and linguica broth.

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Pre-broth:

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In progress:

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Post-broth:

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I don’t think my words can do any of this justice.

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(Did I mention that each course came paired with a generous glass of wine?)

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The sun started to go down in time for the third course: Ashed Archer Angus Farms beef sirloin with yellow brandywine tomato rosemary confit, piperade, and fresh dug fingerling potatoes and chanterelles.

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The glaze was painfully delicious, and the spices in the ash rub were perfect.

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Again, I just can’t do this food justice with my words, so I’m going to stop trying!

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I was starting to get uncomfortably full at this point, so I let Erik take half my meat (the inside piece — not the yummy outside!) because I knew dessert was coming!

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Dessert definitely won the prize for most inventive: plum tomato and almond frangipane tart with basil goat’s milk ice cream.

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We remarked that this sort of tasted like pizza … but in a non-weird desserty way.

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It worked so well! I’d eat this for dessert every day if I could.

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We thought we’d reached the end, but then we noticed that a fire pit had emerged …

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… complete with s’mores fixings!

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I was so uncomfortably full, but who can resist s’mores on a farm???

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In conclusion, I think that Erik should stay a farmer forever and ever and ever!

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Colors

In the beginning, everything was green.

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Life was one big salad …

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… or one big squash, depending on the month.

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Then, something strange started to happen:

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Our food started to turn purple.

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It started with purple kohlrabi and purple potatoes.

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I came home one day to find purple bell peppers, garlic, and eggplant.

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And more purple potatoes with striped beets.

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On it went, with purple cabbage, purple lettuce, purple onions. My skin even started to turn purple.

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Somebody had to do something about this madness.

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(Photo from The Boston Globe.)

Luckily, hope is on the way.

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Life has just become more interesting.

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The rainbow is here!

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