This is the latest in a series of posts that I’ve done about my favorite varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs we grow at Happy Acres. To see my other Spotlights, and those from other garden bloggers, visit the Variety Spotlights page.
The folks at All-America Selections recently asked garden communicators and bloggers like me to name their favorite AAS Winner. I counted about 35 AAS Winners I’m planning to grow in 2019, including flowers, herbs and vegetables. But my favorite was easy to choose: Juliet tomato.
Juliet is either a mini-Roma type, a saladette tomato or a large grape tomato depending on which way you look at it. This 1999 All-America Selections F1 hybrid tomato is prolific, disease-resistant, holds well on the vine, and the tomatoes almost never split or have blossom end rot. They grow in clusters, with up to 18 of the 1 to 2 ounce tomatoes per cluster, though clusters with 6-12 tomatoes are more common on my plants. Juliet has a sweet, rich and full tomato taste with nice balance.
Juliet vines are vigorous and indeterminate, and usually keep on producing here until frost if I keep them well-watered and fertilized. The vines are also quite disease resistant, and Juliet shows intermediate resistance to both early and late blights. The vines do need to be staked or caged, and I use cages made of concrete reinforcing mesh for mine.
They are great for fresh use on salads, salsas and other dishes, and are also tasty when dehydrated or cooked up into sauces. For a real treat, slice them in half, drizzle with olive oil and roast in a 250°F oven for a couple of hours. I use the roasted Juliets on homemade pizza and added to pasta dishes. It is my favorite tomato for drying, and for oven roasting. Both methods concentrate the flavors, while greatly reducing the amount of space required for storage. Both the dehydrated and the slow-roasted Juliets freeze well. For sauces I throw them into a blender, skins and all, then cook down the juice until thick.
Juliet is a bullet-proof tomato worthy of high praise in my book. I often tell people that if I could only grow one tomato, it would be Juliet! That’s how much I love this tomato, and how versatile it is. And that’s exactly what I told the folks at AAS too.
In the U.S. seed for Juliet is widely available from a number of sources. I hope you have enjoyed this spotlight on a great variety of a vegetable that will always have a place in my garden, and is worth trying in yours if you aren’t growing it already. I’ll be back soon with another variety.