Monday, August 20, 2012


Beautiful Heirloom Tomatoes
I visited two of my local farmers' markets this weekend where I purchased about six pounds of beautiful heirloom tomatoes.  I was anxious to make a simple Heirloom Tomato Salad with olive oil and a touch of Himalayan pink salt with a sprinkling of herbs.  I did that ... and some.

Heirloom tomatoes should not be refrigerated.   Their shelf life is very limited, so they need to be consumed as soon as possible.  The tomatoes that I purchased were very ripe.  Since I only needed about half for the salad, I decided to split them and use half for the salad and the other half to make an Heirloom Tomato Sauce.  I sometimes make tomato sauce with fresh plum tomatoes, so I thought this would be a good way to utilize the tomatoes before they ripen too much beyond use.

The Heirloom Tomato Salad was very easy.  All I did was slice the tomatoes and arrange them on a plate.  Then, I drizzled them with extra virgin olive oil and added a touch of Himalayan pink salt.  Finally, I added some chopped parsley.   We had fresh mozzarella, fresh basil leaves and good Italian bread as our "sides" to go with the salad.  That was the first half. 

Heirloom Tomato Salad
The second half was an Heirloom Tomato Sauce.  First, I peeled and removed the seeds from the tomatoes and reserved the tomato juices that were left over from my deseeding.  Typically with plum tomatoes, I would blanch them in boiling water for about 30 seconds then shock in ice water.  Not these!  I would never think about putting one of these gems into a pot of boiling water to loosen the skin.  I didn't have to.  They were so ripened that the skins peeled off easily, with the exception of the green zebras--they were a little tougher to peel.  I then chopped the tomatoes in a food processor.  Next, was to sauté about 1/2 cup chopped garlic in olive oil.  After the garlic was slightly softened, I added the tomatoes and the reserved tomato juices and let the sauce simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes until it thickened.  Next, we added fresh basil and parsley, pink salt and freshly ground black pepper.  After adding the fresh herbs, I let the sauce simmer for another three minutes.  That was it.  The sauce is perfect for any pasta dish.

Sliced Heirloom Tomatoes

Tomato Pulp

Heirloom Tomato Sauce:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup minced garlic
2 1/2 pounds of meaty heirloom tomatoes -- green zebras, red, yellow, orange...or whatever is available...skinned and deseeded
1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
0.25 tsp Himalayan pink salt

Tomatoes and Basil

Heirloom Tomato Sauce

Another Meatless Monday!

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