The Unending Possibilities of an Heirloom Tomato

Our tomato game is strong right now. Last week, we received an order of 450 pounds of fresh, local, and organic heirloom tomatoes from Fishel’s Organics, and, get this, they’re only $1.99/lb! That’s a lot of tomatoes, and at that price, that’s a lot of possibilities for some pretty incredible meals. Our staff is in a tomato tizzy, and we pooled our culinary expertise to come up with some recipes and tips for y’all to enjoy for the rest of the season. Stop by the store, grab some heirlooms, have a look at the recipes, pick your favorites, get cooking, and tell us how it goes!

 

Diamond’s Ultimate Scrambled Eggs

Ingredients

1 Heirloom tomato

1/2 c. shredded mild cheddar cheese

3 large eggs

1 T. butter

Shaved sliced turkey

Spinach leaves

Baby Bella mushroom

 

Instructions

Chop turkey, tomato and mushroom up into bits and set aside. Melt butter over medium high heat in a large frying pan and whirl around for even distribution. Add eggs to frying pan and scramble, gradually adding mushroom, turkey, tomato, then cheese. Leave eggs slightly soft. Add spinach leaves….

Wanna kick it up?! Add salsa and sour cream (and more cheese!) once plated.

Germane’s Homemade Ketchup

Ingredients

 5 lbs. Heirloom tomatoes

¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper

¼ c. Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tsp. Salt

2 T Molasses

2 T Honey

¼ tsp. Ground clove

¼ tsp. Ground cinnamon

1 T Dijon mustard

½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce

¼ tsp. Ground Pepper

¼ Large onion, diced

 ½ Clove garlic

Instructions

Quarter tomatoes. Place in a large stock pot. Using a wooden spoon or a potato masher, gently mash the tomatoes to release their juices. Cook the tomatoes on a low simmer for 30 minutes. Puree the tomatoes with blender until they are mostly smooth. Pour tomato puree into a slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients and cook on low overnight, about 8-12 hours. Using a blender, puree the mixture again until it is mostly smooth. Remove lid of slow cooker. Cook the mixture on medium/high setting until the mixture has cooked down to the desired thickness, checking every hour or so, about 3 hours. Taste and season as desired. Puree the mixture one final time. Store and enjoy!

Jean’s Heirloom Tomato Pasta

Ingredients

1 lb. Penne pasta

2 3/4 lbs. Heirloom tomatoes, diced

5 to 6 oz. soft mild goat cheese, crumbled

2/3 c. coarsely chopped Kalamata olives

3/4 c. torn fresh basil leaves

Instructions

Cook pasta in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water until just tender, then drain.

While pasta is cooking, toss tomatoes with salt to taste in a bowl and let juices exude.

Toss hot pasta with goat cheese in a large bowl until cheese is melted and coats pasta. Add tomatoes with juices, olives, basil, and salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine.

 

Cris’ Cucumber Bloody Mary

Ingredients

Several yellow heirloom tomatoes (I love using yellow tomatoes for this because of the more mellow flavor and bright color, but you can use others – I wouldn’t necessarily use greens because they would make it tart and murky.)

One cucumber

Pinch of salt

Lime juice

Horseradish sauce

Worcestershire sauce

Black pepper

Celery seed

Garlic powder

Dash of hot sauce

1 oz. vodka or gin

Instructions

Purée tomatoes, one cucumber and a pinch of salt in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a large pitcher. You can strain the mixture through a sieve or cheesecloth, but I like my drinks chewy. Add lime juice, sauces, and spices to taste; stir to combine. Chill until ready to serve. Fill each glass with ice and liquor, then top off with about 2/3 cup juice. Garnish each drink with pickled tomatoes and a cucumber spear to stir.

 

Davis’ Tomato Suggestion

I suggest eating your local, organic heirloom tomatoes like an apple – wash them off and bite right in! Sprinkle some sea salt on each bite to really heighten the flavor, keep a napkin nearby, and enjoy.

 

Nick’s Fantastic Fresh Tomato Sauce

Ok listen. It is not technically necessary to remove the skins from your tomatoes before cooking this sauce, so if you are pressed for time or lazy or simply contrarian, by all means, leave those skins on. Removing them, however, will make the final product better. To do this, make a very shallow X with a sharp knife in the bottom of each tomato. Dunk them in boiling water for no more than 1 minute, then fish them out with tongs and throw them in an ice bath. Once they have cooled down, which takes about 30 seconds, the skins peel right off. Stop complaining.

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil

small pinch hot pepper flakes

1 shallot

2 cloves garlic

3 anchovy fillets (do not fear these)

1/2 cup dry white wine

2-3lbs fresh tomatoes, peeled, chopped, and placed in a bowl

1 sprig of basil

kosher salt

fresh ground pepper

Instructions

Heat the olive oil in deep skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. Toss in the hot pepper flakes while you’re at it. We’re not really looking for spicy heat. More of a subtle piquancy. Awwww yeah.

When the oil shimmers, add the shallot and garlic and toss. They should sizzle very gently, so lower the heat if the situation seems too active. Cook for 5-7 minutes, tossing often, until the shallot is melty and translucent and the garlic is vaguely golden. DO NOT BURN THE GARLIC. If you burn the garlic, well then…may God have mercy on your soul.

When the shallot is translucent, add the anchovy fillets and toss until they melt and fully incorporate. If you skip this step then you are a coward.

Crank the heat up to medium-high, add the wine, and stir. It should hiss and bubble and steam in a satisfying manner. Continue to stir and let the wine evaporate almost completely. At this point the aroma coming off the pan should be so good that you have to keep your pants from flying off.

When the wine is almost all evaporated, add your chopped tomatoes, any liquid that has accumulated in the bowl, and the whole sprig of basil. Stir with great vigor and add a big pinch of kosher salt and about ten cranks of fresh black pepper. Let the whole mixture achieve a non-violent simmer, and then turn the heat back down to medium low.

Cook for about ten minutes, stirring often. The goal is a bright, chunky sauce with a decent amount of liquid rather than a dramatic reduction and a pasty end result.

When the sauce looks and tastes like tomato sauce, and you feel for all the world like an Italian grandmother, remove the sprig of basil and turn off the heat. The process is complete!

To serve – The classic preparation is – of course – to toss the sauce with hot spaghetti and shovel it into your gaping maw. If you go this route, I highly suggest tossing the noodles with a tablespoon of butter, and adding Parmesan and chopped parsley to the finished dish. Alternately, spoon this sauce over tuna steaks, use it as a dip for grilled garlic bread, or simply rub it all over your body. Enjoy!

 

Elizabeth’s Midnight Toast

You can certainly eat this at any time of day, but I often find it makes the ideal late-night snack. What better way to tuck yourself in for the night with a satisfyingly full tummy with something fresh and filling.

Ingredients

One heirloom tomato

Sliced sourdough bread

Fresh ricotta cheese

Sea Salt

Pesto and/or balsamic vinegar (optional)

Instructions

Toast your slice of bread. Meanwhile, slice the tomato. When the bread is done, spread a layer of ricotta and top with tomato slice. Sprinkle lightly with salt. If you’re feeling extra fancy, include a layer of pesto before adding the ricotta, add other toppings, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. This meal always tastes better when you share with a friend.

Germane’s Salsa

Ingredients

2 lbs. Heirloom tomatoes

1/2 c. Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

1/4 c. Chopped Red Onion

2 Cloves garlic, minced

1 Jalapeño, quartered and sliced thin (remove seeds if you do not want a spicy salsa)

1 tsp. Ground Cumin

1 tsp. Salt

1 Whole lime, juiced

Instructions

Combine the whole tomatoes, cilantro, onions, garlic, jalapeño, cumin, salt and lime juice in a blender or food processor. Process until you get the salsa to the consistency you like, about 15-20 seconds. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Refrigerate the salsa for at least an hour before serving.