Get ‘em while you can.
A fellow father asked me on the way to the market: they got any heirloom tomatoes today? (for that’s the kind of question certain fathers ask each other these days on a Sunday) I answered: for maybe a month. And then I felt a pang. A fast-forward-to-February feeling of wanting a real, local, perfectly ripe heirloom, in all its trembling, fragile, thin-skinned, juicy complexity. Luckily, the want only lasted about 5 hours or so until dinner.
While we might be little tired of tomatoes after three months of perfection, there’s no better way of calibrating your kids’ crummy-produce radar by encouraging them to eat as many tomatoes (heirloom and otherwise) as possible when they’re in season and at their very best.
I bought a few kinds of tomatoes, not all heirloom, but all great. They were:
The Week in Tomatoes: 3 recipes we’re feeding our family:
1. brandywine heirloom tomato salad:
A couple of tomatoes, sliced, with a little sea salt. You could also add a little olive oil, or could do the tomatoes plus fresh mozarella and basil for that caprese thing (I used local burrata this weekend, but any old fresh mozz will do). If it still needs a boost, add some balsamic.
2. green zebra and san marzano tomato pizza with thyme and mozarella
premade pizza dough
green zebras and san marzanos (or whatever unmushy variety you can get), sliced thin
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425. Stretch out the dough on an olive-oiled sheet pan. Sprinkle with thin layer of cheese and then with thyme. Cover with tomato slices, leaving about an inch in between slices. Bake until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Serves 4.
3. cherry tomato pasta with marjoram
2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
marjoram (or other herbs, parsley, basil, whatever)
salt and pepper
pound of pasta (farfalle’s curves and crevaces grab the tomatoes nicely)
Heat olive oil in a large sautee pan over medium heat, add garlic cloves and sautee until fragrant, add tomatoes and fresh herbs. Sautee until tomatoes have burst and broken down a bit. Add enough cooked pasta, with a little pasta water, to the pan so that there’s a nice ratio of tomatoes to pasta. Toss over heat, until well sauced. Serve with a ton of parmesan grated over it.