Sunday, August 24, 2008

Heirloom Tomato Extravaganza

The heirlooms have reached their peak - something we noticed last weekend at the farmers market. Our favorite tomato stand (Valdivia Farms) had a rainbow colored sea of deeply hued tomatoes proudly displayed on their tables. Just by looking, we could tell it was the peak time. Usually we save the tomato stand for last (because they are so delicate and I have an obsession with coddling delicate fruit post-purchase). We typically end up having limited cash funds leftover by the time we get to the heirlooms. They are also pretty expensive, so we look longingly at the different types, and then buy just one or two to take home and enjoy.

Last weekend, we made a pact that we would have an heirloom tomato extravaganza the next weekend to celebrate the peak of the season. What this would entail is us taking out extra money from the ATM, not caring about the cost, and then buying one of each variety (9 different types of heirlooms), taking them home and making a feast out of them, enjoying the taste and texture nuances of each variety. The ultimate summer activity to celebrate being alive and having all of our tastebuds in working order!

Here are the tomatoes just after we brought them home from the market:

And a beautiful cross-section view to show off their gem-like luster:

With fresh mozzarella, basil from our garden, a drizzle of olive oil, balsamic, and grinding of sea salt and tri-colored peppercorns:

Served with sliced ciabatta loaf from the bread stand, toasted and drizzled with oil:

Summertime on a plate! We've agreed to turn this into a tradition and do the same thing every August during the peak heirloom week.

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