Friday, January 30, 2009

Baby Heirloom Tomatoes

These little guys just came in today from our purveyor and I can't wait to start playing with them. Heirloom plants have become extremely popular in the last decade allowing chefs to serve up some pretty unpredictable vegetables to patrons. Heirloom plants by definition must be natural and grown with open pollination instead of hand controlled pollination utilizing seeds handed down through the generations. This natural process allows for the plants to vary in their genetic traits since the pollen source (male parent) is usually unknown. There are many different types of heirloom seeds available now such as pepino melon, strawberry husk tomatoes, baby red peppers, purple carrots, and lemon squash. These tomatoes are extremely ripe and taking a bite into the firm flesh creates an explosion of summer tomato on your taste buds. I'm thinking about using these in a micro salad with crisp pancetta bacon and gorgonzola and a piece of toasted polenta. They would also be great sliced in half with some good olive oil, fresh basil, and sea salt. I'm really happy about using these up in the kitchen and sharing their beauty with our guests.

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