They range from the hefty, irregularly shaped, explosively juicy cherokee purple to the tiny, tart, and firm green zebra. Because heirloom tomato cultivars come in early-, mid-, and late-season varieties, pay attention to what's available at your local market that day. Generally speaking, select tomatoes that are firm, heavy for their size, and free of any open cracks or wounds. For ideas on how to cook with them, read more
What could be more gratifying on a sweltering day than a platter of fat and juicy tomatoes, fresh off the vine? I ask that question each year when the season rolls around and, without fail, come up with nothing for an answer.
At this weekend's farmers market, when I spotted heirloom tomatoes by the crateful in a rainbow of colors, I couldn't help but bring several pounds home.
I used my loot — a mixture of green zebras, Cherokees, and yellow brandywines — as the star of a dish so unembellished, I'm not sure I would call it a salad. I sliced the fruits into thin rounds, then drizzled them with high-quality Italian olive oil.
A flaky sea salt helps round out the tomatoes' impossibly sweet flesh; I also added dollops of burrata to cut through the acidity and young leaves of basil to bring out the herbaceousness of the tomatoes. I devoured the dish right away and derived such visceral pleasure from eating it that I guarantee next week I'll be making the salad again. Keep reading to savor this Summer fruit the same way.
This salad is very simple to make and could easily be prepped in advance for a dinner party; then, quickly assemble to impress your guests — that's what I did. Watch the parmesan crisps when baking: just as mine started to turn a lovely golden color, they began to smoke. They weren't burning, but smoking enough to set off my smoke detector!
The herbed salad with Champagne vinaigrette and complex greens complements the ripe tomatoes and irresistible parmesan crisps, creating a perfect Summer salad. To try something new with colorful heirloom tomatoes, keep reading for the recipe.
A fast-spreading fungus has ravaged tomato crops across the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, wiping out this year's crop and causing the price of heirloom tomatoes to skyrocket by 20 percent. But the cause of the pandemic is something that's much more innocent than you might think.
In a recent New York Times column, renowned farm-to-table chef Dan Barber discusses the aggressive disease, known as late blight, that has wiped out 70 percent of this year's heirloom tomato crop. He argues that there are three contributing factors that caused the intense blight. First, a rainy Summer, moderate temperatures, and lots of humidity; second, infected tomato starter plants sold to home growers; and third, the explosion of home gardeners.
Ironically, the very community that's engaged in eating locally has set the stage for one of the worst heirloom tomato harvests in history. Barber argues that, despite what Slow Food believers might advocate, future farming must involve nonheirloom plant varieties bred to resist diseases.
The blight isn't limited to new home gardeners; even seasoned pro Martha Stewart has lamented that she lost 70 percent of the 50 different tomato varieties in her garden this year. Have you fallen victim to this year's tomato travesty? What do you think of Barber's argument?
You can do pretty much anything with the succulent, summery caprese salad concept, from caprese skewers to caprese nachos. So when heirloom tomatoes started showing up at my farmers market, I whipped up a sandwich featuring the classic combination of fresh basil and mozzarella cheese.
I'm almost embarrassed by how easy it is to make, but that's why this sandwich is perfect for the season. At just five minutes in the oven, it doesn't require slaving over a hot stove. Be sure the tomatoes are perfectly ripe; if you really love them, add an extra layer of tomatoes and cheese. Find out how to make it.
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