Posts Tagged ‘heirloom tomatoes’

by Sarah Steimer

Summer tomato salad with fresh herbs

It’s a simple salad, but with so many fresh tomatoes and herbs around, why do more? Seek out the best heirlooms at your farmer’s market. The tomatoes are truly the key ingredient here (and go for color, too!).


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by Caitlin Saniga

Heirloom tomato spaghetti with fresh basil

Please forgive me for sharing what may be the simplest, most generic summer meal. I can’t get enough of heirloom tomatoes!

  • 4 medium heirloom tomatoes, the more colorful, the better
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 shallots
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • 1 8-ounce package spaghetti

Chop the tomatoes and place them in a large bowl, along with their juices. Drizzle the olive oil over top, and season well with salt and pepper. Let the tomatoes rest.

Mince the shallots and garlic. In a small saucepan, heat a couple splashes of olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Next, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat, and add to the bowl with the tomatoes. Tear the basil leaves, and add them to the bowl. Stir to combine, and let rest while preparing the pasta.

Cook the pasta according to package directions, and drain. Add the pasta to the bowl with the tomatoes, and toss well to coat with the sauce. Divide among 4 bowls, and serve warm.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Mission Delectable

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by Caitlin Saniga

Gingery heirloom tomato salad with watermelon, mozzarella and arugula

This is an upscale restaurant-quality dish, made especially wonderful by the umami ginger dressing. You’ll have fun creating new flavor combos with each bite and want to lick the plate clean when you’re done.


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by Caitlin Saniga

The tomatoes and olives are optional in this recipe. Use seasonal vegetables to fill out the salad. Perhaps some steamed sweet potato this time of year?

  • 1 1/2 pound beets, peeled and cooked
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 1/4 cup kalamatta olives
  • 1/2 large red onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 medium heirloom tomatoes, sliced into wedges

Cut the beets into quarters or sixths. Whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, herbs, coriander, salt, pepper to taste, and the oil in a small bowl. Taste the dressing on a beet and correct the seasonings if needed. Toss the beets with enough dressing to coat lightly. Toss the greens in the remaining mixture and arrange on salad plates. Add the beets, olives, onion and tomatoes, and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

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by Caitlin Saniga

To bulk up the number of servings in this recipe, serve the panzanella over arugula or a mix of greens.

  • 4 cups day-old bread, cut into 1-inch cubes and broiled until brown (I used a roasted garlic loaf.)
  • 3 medium heirloom tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup pickled red onions
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed basil, torn
  • 6 mint leaves, torn
  • 12 kalamata olives, sliced
  • salt and pepper

Place the toasted bread cubes in a large mixing bowl. Roughly chop the tomatoes on a cutting board and add both the tomatoes and the juice to the bowl of bread. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Pour the mixture over the bread as well. Thoroughly toss to combine, and set aside, letting the bread soak for about 20 minutes.

When the croutons are soft but not mushy, gently mix in the pickled onions, basil, mint and olives. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Stored in an airtight container, the salad holds for 1day in the fridge.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Urban Pantry

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by Caitlin Saniga

I made this galette when my mom came to visit for a few days. This was our first dish with heirloom tomatoes of the summer, and we were thrilled with it, having it for lunch and then for a snack after a day of sightseeing on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I wish I could cook for Mom every day.


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons cold lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons ice water


  • 1 disk savory galette dough
  • 3 medium heirloom tomatoes, any color
  • 1/2 small onion, cut into thin rings
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 ounces mild cheddar cheese, cut into thin slices + 1 ounce grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 green onions, chopped

Maybe this goes without saying, but it’s always a nice reminder. If you want the dough to be flaky and light, knead it as little as possible.  The ingredients should be just barely combined for the best results.

To prepare the dough, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, pepper, and salt with a fork in a large bowl. Scatter the cubed butter over top. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter until the butter is in small pea-sized pieces.

Drizzle the lemon juice and water over the butter-flour mixture and combine using fork. The dough will come together just barely. Gently pat the dough into a ball and then a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and set it on the counter.

Slice the tomatoes. Remove the seeds with your fingers or a knife, and place them on paper towels to soak up some of the juice. Sprinkle with salt.

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Set the disk onto the floured surface and gently hit it a few times with the rolling pin to flatten it. Roll it into a 12-inch circle, flipping it over one time, and re-flouring the pin as necessary to prevent it from sticking. Hang the dough over the rolling pin to transfer it to the parchment-lined baking sheet.

In a small bowl, combine Dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar using a fork or whisk. Pour onto the dough and spread into a roughly 10-inch circle.

Pat the tomatoes dry with paper towels and arrange them, alternating with slices of cheese in a spiral on top of the dough. Top with onion rings, sprinkle with the shredded cheese.

Fold the 2-inch edge of dough over top of the filling, making a few pinches as you go. Brush the egg wash on the dough.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack, along with the parchment paper, and cool for 15 minutes. Top with green onions.

Cut into slices and serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat the galette, place it on a baking sheet and heat at 350 degrees for about 4 minutes.

Makes 8 servings.

Recipe adapted from: 20 Something Cupcakes

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by Sarah Steimer

The tomatoes do all the work in this dish. Heirloom tomatoes have such great flavors that there’s really very little you need to make a delicious, fresh dish.

  • 2 slices vegetarian fake bacon (can use real bacon for a non-Meatless Monday option)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

    Shoot for a lot of different-colored tomatoes at your farmer’s market. I picked up purple, pink and green-yellow tomatoes. And don’t be put off by the fact that heirloom tomatoes come in some crazy shapes – you just have to get inventive with your cutting.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 medium or large heirloom tomatoes, sliced crosswise about 1/2-inch thick (I also threw in a few grape and cherry tomatoes)
  • salt and pepper
  • basil, arugula or watercress for topping

Cook the bacon until crisp. Drain, cool and finely chop. Mix the bacon with the cheese and flour. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, divide the bacon0cheese mixture into four mounds and flatten in to 3 1/2-inch rounds. Bake at 375 degress until golden and the cheese melts, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from the oven when done and allow the crisps to cool for about 5 minutes on the pan before transferring them (carefully) to a paper towel to finish cooling.

The salad isn’t at all ruined when you serve it. I actually couldn’t decide which plating was prettier.

To make the dressing, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl.

Arrange the tomatoes on a platter, adding salt and pepper to each layer and some of the dressing (I did not use all of the dressing). Top the dish with whichever greens you choose. Crumble the crisps over the top and serve. Tip: If you do not plan on eating the entire salad in one sitting, set aside some of the crisps so they do not get soggy staying in the dish.

Makes four servings.

Recipe adapted from: Food Network Magazine

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