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I don’t know what’s gotten into the cherry tomato plants on my fire escape. (The fire escape is a semi-terrifying porch-type thing you’re not necessarily allowed to grow cherry tomatoes on, for those of you who don’t live in a city.) They’re taking over. I have more of those sweet, juicy little devils than I can handle. Time to handle them.

  1. Take all the odd-shaped, slightly damaged or super-ripe ones, make a quick sauce with garlic and basil and freeze it for the “complaining about tomatoes” months. 
  2. Make a raw sauce à la checca, like this one.
  3. Break out the flavor injector you only use, like, four times a year and put your chili-infused vodka and box of toothpicks to good use.
  4. And speaking of vodka, cutting out the middle man and just smashing them into a cocktail is a wise move. Or use gin. Whatever.
  5. Following that two-martini lunch, all you have to do is choose which mozzarella to pair with the next round: classic, smoked or creamy burrata.
  6. Since there’s nothing like a great summer no-cook recipe, cherry tomato bruschetta seems prudent.
  7. And if there are still some left over, and in my world there are, coarsely chopped oven-roasted cherry tomatoes mixed with mayo is the greatest condiment you’ve never realized existed. 

While I was out harvesting yesterday, which makes it sound so much more …uh, rural than hoisting the leaky AC out of the window and climbing onto my rickety little “porch” like I do just about every day, I noticed someone across the way growing chili peppers. Now I have a new mass production project. Food Republic brand Premium 100% Pure Bhut Jolokia Sauce, anyone? 

More tomatoes for lunch on Food Republic: