Tips and Solutions Detail

Too Many Tomatoes

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Tomatoes come in a variety of interesting shapes, sizes, and colors. So rather than simply eat them, why not make a fun and edible centerpiece? This dinner plan is the perfect splash of color for warm summer months when tomatoes are season, and great for outdoor dining. Invite your friends and family, and add to your party with this lavish but surprisingly simple décor!

Checklist

  • Lifetime folding banquet table(s)
  • Lifetime Folding Chairs
  • A selection of Heirloom Tomatoes and tomatoes of all shapes and sizes
  • White or Hunter Green tablecloth
  • Low, narrow, flat baskets
  • Clear glass votive candles
  • Large, Tuscan-style candlesticks
  • Wood chargers
  • Golden yellow plates or white dinnerware
  • Celadon green napkins
  • Amber glassware
  • Rustic paper placemats: Several sheets of handmade red “fiber paper”

Steps

  1. Lay a white or hunter green tablecloth over your table
  2. Put newspaper in the bottom of the low, narrow, flat baskets, and pile high with tomatoes and Basil leaves (covering the paper completely)
  3. Set the clear glass votive candles interspersed along the length of the table and juxtapose with larger Tuscan-style candlesticks
  4. Place off-white, white, or golden yellow plates on wood chargers
  5. Set celadon green napkins on the plates, topped with small cherry tomatoes and sprig of Basil leaves
  6. Set out amber glassware
  7. Make rustic paper placemats: Fold the fiber paper to measure about 17” x 15”. Moisten the folds and press down firmly to create a neat edge. Now pull the paper apart at the edge, creating a dappled edge. This will be your placemat.
  8. Make Deb’s Favorite Summer Tomato Salad, to top off the evening!

Tips

  • For more placemat interest, you can glue additional pockets of paper alongside the left edge of the placemat and tuck a napkin or silverware into the pocket.
  • Create a U-shaped table using 3 Lifetime folding tables. Larger Tomato Centerpiece on the middle table—smaller ones on the sides, using a wide variety and color of Heirloom Tomatoes.
  • What to do with the leftover Heirloom Tomatoes? Try making a great pasta sauce, a Tomato Marmalade for Christmas gifts or sun-dried tomatoes to use in soups or sauces later.

Recipe: Deb’s Favorite Summer Tomato Salad

  • Thick slices of ripe Heirloom Tomatoes (one per guest)
  • Sliced Burrata Cheese (a cow’s milk Mozzarella cheese from Puglia is rich and creamy. Found in any fine cheese shop or online.)
  • Slices of avocado
  • ¼ inch thick slices of peeled navel oranges
  • Pitted Nicoise olives (or Kalamata olives)
  • Fresh torn basil leaves
  • A drizzle of Truffle oil
  1. Arrange tomatoes on a large platter and top with a slice of Burrata, a slice of orange, and 2-3 slices of avocado.
  2. Scatter the olives and basil over all, and drizzle with Truffle oil.

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