One of our favorite things to grow is Jasper Tomato from Johnny Selected Seeds. Don’t let looks deceive. Even though Jaspers are elfin – I call them mini cherry – each one is bursting with hearty tomato-y flavor that will surprise you. One of the best things to do with these tiny gems is to roast ‘em. Here is Miss Joy’s Roasted Jasper method.
1. Get a bunch of Jaspers. Cut each one in half through the middle (not stem to tail).
2. Spread them, cut side up, on a cookie sheet.
3. Lay three or four whole garlic cloves around on the sheet.
4. Drizzle the whole thing with olive oil.
5. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and rosemary (fresh if you can).
6. Bake a couple of hours at about 300 degrees.
7. When the Jaspers are good and shriveled, scrape oil and all into a storage jar.
When the time comes, sprinkle your roasted Jaspers on soup, salads, veggies, or just eat them as is. I guarantee they won’t last long.
A word about growing Jaspers. They are a hybrid, indeterminate variety. As far as I know, Johnny’s is only supplier I know that sells the seeds. I start mine around the first of February, and try to have at least two strong plants ready for transplanting when the weather starts warming up. Being indeterminate, plants will need to be caged or staked. Jaspers are one of the few tomato varieties I know than can endure and produce through our killer Texas summers without special protection. In mild winters, we have been able to pick Jaspers for Christmas dinner.