Wednesday, March 10, 2010

These heirlooms won't be around for long!

Although there is no exact definition of an heirloom, or heritage tomato, it is generally considered to be a variety that has been passed down for generations due to desired characteristics.  They have strong and unique colors and flavors.  Rarely are they perfectly round and can often be lumpy and misshaped.  Don't be turned off by this as they are divine!  It's best to use them for dishes where their flavors can really shine.

I found some beautiful, ripe heirloom tomatoes at the farmers market and put them to immediate use when I got home.  It's hard to believe that they pack so much punch, they were bursting with flavor!  As I really wanted to concentrate on the flavor of the tomato, I decided to do a simple tomato salad.

Heirloom Tomato Salad


1 lb heirloom tomatoes
small handful of basil leaves, plus more for garnish
1/2 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
cracked black pepper


1. Halve, quarter and slice the tomatoes as you please.  Feel free to do rough chops.
2. Roughly chop basil and add to mortar and pestle with garlic, olive oil and salt.  Grind to a liquidy paste.  Add more olive oil or basil to reach desired consistency.

3. Drizzle over tomatoes and gently toss.  Garnish with torn basil leaves and cracked black pepper.  Sprinkle with additional salt if desired.

The salad would be great with some creamy buffalo mozzeralla to soak up the flavors!

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