I’m ready to live, breath, hoard and savor a variety of heirloom tomatoes. Because their growing season is so short, I don’t want to miss out on a single bite. I also love to take advantage of recipes that highlight heirlooms such as Heirloom Tomato BLTs, Heirloom Tomato Salad with Goat Milk Brie and this refreshing Heirloom Tomato Juice, spiked with lemon juice, celery seed and Tabasco.
Heirlooms are cultivated from seeds that have been handed down from generation to generation. There are multiple varieties grown around the world, but just a few are grown commercially. Although sizes, shapes and colors will vary, their unique look and exceptional flavor makes them really special. Here are some ideas and recipes to keep you basking in heirloom heaven:
Eat them out of hand, or slice and eat as is or with a favorite light dressing, but go easy on the dressing so you don’t drown out the flavor of the heirlooms.
Heirloom Tomato Panzanella is a luscious, rustic Tuscan salad made with toasted cubes of sourdough bread tossed with heirlooms, cucumbers and flavorful white balsamic vinaigrette topped with goat cheese crumbles.
Heirloom Tomato and Melon Salad flavors heirlooms and melons with serrano peppers, sea salt and lemon.
Serve this Savory Corn Tart with Heirloom Tomatoes for brunch.
Slice and serve with feta, goat cheese or any favorite cheese. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Top with roasted walnuts and a sprinkling of fresh slivered basil or chopped chives.
Showcase really great heirlooms with Heirloom Tomato and Lemon Mascarpone Tart recipe.
Add to scrambled eggs or stuff an omelet.
Add to summer squash; sauté in olive oil with plenty of garlic.
Serve with sliced avocados and a small dollop of ranch dressing.
Toss into hot cooked pasta or make our Heirloom Tomato and Creamy Pesto Pasta.
Make an heirloom tomato sandwich on whole grain with mayonnaise or your favorite vinaigrette dressing. If desired, add sliced avocado, grilled Portobello mushrooms and thick slices of cheese.
Roasted Heirloom Tomato Butter with Thyme is delicious melted over grilled meats and vegetables. Heirloom Tomato Butter with Tarragon pairs raw heirlooms with tarragon, butter and seasonings. Melt it over grilled or steamed veggies, grilled meats and baked or roasted potatoes.
Make grilled cheese and heirloom tomato sandwiches. Serve with a leafy green salad for an absolutely perfect lunch.
Stuff large heirlooms with tuna, shrimp, chicken, or egg salad. Or serve one of these salads over a bed of slice heirlooms.
Make Grilled Heirloom Tomato and Pesto Pizzas at your next outdoor barbeque.
Heirlooms ripen quickly, so purchase only what you’ll use within a few days. Never store them in the refrigerator as this destroys both flavor and texture. Buy firm heirlooms with just a little “give” when pressed with a finger. If the tomato is too soft, it’s likely too ripe, and that can mean it’s mushy and flavorless. And as always, be sure there are no soft spots or cracks in the skin.
What’s your favorite heirloom recipe? Do you grown your own or have a favorite variety? Let me know.