I held the giant yellow heirloom tomato proudly with two hands. I smiled like a child holding a hand-harvested seashell at the beach.
"Isn't it beautiful?! It's shaped like a plump heart. See! You have to hold it." I held out the shiny tomato to my husband. He held it, nodded and smiled back at me. His expression a combination of shared joy and comical bewilderment at my excitement over such an ordinary thing: A tomato.
Simple Heirloom Tomato Salad. Last night I tweeted this:
"Tip to all the *cooking-phobic* out there: start w/ lots of fresh Farmer's Market fare and a simple recipe. Success EVERY time."
It's true. A simple recipe is all you need when your ingredients are seasonal, fresh, high quality, organic and local. So grab some Farmer's Market heirlooms and try my Spicy Seeded Sliced Heirloom Tomato Salad Recipe. Simple, fast, cooking-newbie approved...
This salad also makes a great sandwich! Just add bread and spicy/whole grain mustard:
What is an Heirloom Tomato? Long answer here. Short answer: "An heirloom is generally considered to be a variety that has been passed down, through several generations of a family because of it's valued characteristics."
"How Much Were They?" Was the next question asked about my beautiful green, red, purple and orange heirloom tomatoes. Don't tell the farmers this - but when I spot and fall in love with an heirloom tomato - I don't even look at the price. Call it a foodie splurge/gourmet treat. Most heirloom tomatoes at the Union Square Farmer's Market here in NYC were about $4.50-$5 a pound. Not cheap. But a worthy summertime treat, to me.
Farmer's Market Fare. I also picked up some amazing bell peppers in various colors: purple, red, green, white, yellow, striped and even black. The 'black' bell pepper was bright lime green inside. They tasted even more delicious than I imagined they would. Fresh, crisp, sweet and zesty.
I also bought some fuzzy peaches, crisp cucumbers, fresh whole grain ciabatta bread, crisp yellow apples and a bag of "prune" plums. I also bought a huge head of romaine lettuce for an amazing $2. I managed to make three giant salads out of it. So even with the more expensive produce like heirlooms, the deals and steals always even things out at the Greenmarket.
Onto my recipe...
Spicy Seeded Sliced Heirloom Tomato Salad
vegan, raw - serves 2
3 medium heirloom tomatoes (different colors)
1 cup pitted marinated olives (mixed)
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, roasted or raw
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp EVOO
fresh black pepper - lots
1. Wash and prep your tomatoes by slicing them thick. Place in large bowl.
2. Add all other ingredients to large bowl. Toss gently.
3. Let the tomatoes marinate for at least ten minutes before serving.
4. Plating: I used a shallow soup/pasta bowl with a wide rim. Line up tomatoes in alternating colors. Spoon the olives and seeds over tomatoes in the center of your dish. Pour excess marinade over top the salad.
Olive/Seed Mixture on top/center:
5. Serve with crusty bread for dipping the delicious marinade.
More of my Heirloom Tomato Photos: