Sunday, July 18, 2010

Heirloom Heaven

The heirloom tomatoes are finally arriving in volume at the farmers’ market. The “Tomato Guy,” as I call him, says his are all about two weeks behind schedule due to the cooler than usual weather this year. But he had a good selection today and so did several other vendors. Today was the Tomato Guy's first day of the season at the market and I wasn’t the only one really excited to see him.

In the summer, our standard Sunday lunch is heirloom tomato salad, cheese and an herb roll from Acme bakery. Sometimes Larry stands in a really long line to get that one 70¢ roll. Today the tomatoes included Purple Cherokee, Black Brandywine, Green Zebra, an orange and a pink one that weren’t labeled and one called Caltrans. I’m pretty sure Caltrans is not an heirloom! In addition to our usual lemon cucumber, we also purchased a cucumber new to us, the Armenian white. One stand had samples to try and I loved its lacy edges. I keep the heirloom salad simple and just put salt and pepper, a little red spring onion, lots of basil and a mixture of high quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the tomatoes and cucumbers. It’s the individual flavors of each tomato variety that I love and this simple preparation allows them to shine through. Doesn't the salad look beautiful?!!

It was a banner day at the market in addition to purchasing the tomatoes, cucumbers and sweet basil (mine isn’t ready to pick yet), we also came home with blackberries, strawberries, corn, figs, and lots of peaches and nectarines. I’m going to try Chef Dennis’s Peach Blueberry Custard Pie minus the blueberries and the crust and see if it will work more like a pudding. I’ll let you know how it works out.


  1. Oh, Judy...YUM! Which farmer's market do you attend and when is it? I want to go to that one to get the heirloom tomatoes!! Btw, how are those types of cukes you listed in your blog? My favorite are usually English cucumbers (less seeds), so am curious what the others are like? I've been dying for a good tomato salad like yours, so have to get to the market!
    P.S. Any way I can get Matt's address? I have a little something for their baby boy. Isn't he due soon? You will be such a fabulous Grandma!! :)

  2. P.S. My personal email, if you want to email me the address rather than post it publicly:


  3. Loved your post!! Funny... I call our guy "The Tomato Guy" too! Had to laugh at the tomato called Caltrans, haven't come across that one at our market yet, but we have some of "them" working down the road! ;)

  4. Isn't this the best time of year at the market? I go crazy, buying way too much. But it's all so good for you and just tastes so glorious that I can't resist.