All about heirlooms…
The heart of tomato season has arrived! 2012 is turning out to be a great year for tomatoes, and farmer’s fields and markets are finally bursting with heirlooms of all shapes and sizes. Tomatoes are probably one of the most evident crops where a local and seasonal product is far superior to the alternative. Although heirloom tomatoes have a shorter shelf life, are less disease resistant, and often look a bit funkier than most commercial tomatoes, they have become very popular in recent years. The variety of colors, shapes and flavors is simply amazing.
Check out these recipes compiled by Mark Bittman in the New York Times for some “proper ways to treat an heirloom.”
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THIS WEEK’S HARVEST
OG- certified organic CNG- certified naturally grown
I couldn’t resist adding one more tomato recipe. Carmelized almonds, roasted tomatoes, mozzarella, and capers?! Yes please. This one comes from the blog “101 Cookbooks.”
2 pounds / 1 kg tomatoes ( a mix of small heirlooms & cherry tomatoes), halved
1/4 cup / 60 ml extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon brown sugar or maple syrup
couple pinches of fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup toasted almond slices
2 tablespoons capers, fried in a bit of oil
6 oz good mozzarella, torn into chunks
a handful of torn lettuce leaves
generous drizzle of lemon olive oil or chive oil*
chive (or herb) flowers or minced chives, to serve
To start, you’re going to roast about 1/2 of the tomatoes – as I mention up above, preferably a mix of cherry and heirlooms. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), and adjust the oven rack to the top third of the oven. Toss the tomatoes you will be roasting gently (but well) in a bowl along with the olive oil, sugar, and salt. Arrange them in a single layer, cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, without stirring, until the tomatoes shrink a bit and start to caramelize around the edges, 45 to 60 minutes. Set aside to cool.
When ready to serve, gently toss the roasted and raw tomatoes with a bit of chive or lemon oil, most of the almonds, the capers, the mozzarella, and the lettuce. Taste and season with a bit more salt if needed. Serve topped with the remaining almonds, and any herb flowers you might have.
Serves 4 – 6 as a side.
*To make chive oil, use a food processor to puree 1/4 cup chopped chives with 1/2 cup / 120 ml good olive oil. Stir in another 1/4 cup finely chopped chives by hand. Season with sea salt to taste.
Prep time: 10 min – Cook time: 60 min
Some of the Penn’s Corner staff went on a field trip to one of our new member farms last week. Kevin Jarosinski is only 21 years old but an extremely passionate and happy farmer. You just can’t help but smile while walking about his beautiful farm in Sarver, PA! His eggs, pigs, chickens and beef are going to some great Pittsburgh restaurants each week. Check out some of these pictures!