Heirloom Tomato Tart
Heirloom tomatoes are finally in season! They are my summer obsession and they are finally affordable at the grocery store. Now for the next month, I will pretty much eat nothing but heirloom tomatoes. The best way to eat them is raw topped with a little olive oil and salt and you have pretty much got the most perfect dinner. It is even better if you have fresh bread to go with it.
I dont' really think I had heirlooms before moving to San Francisco. I grew up on the generic beefsteak and never really cared about tomatoes until I discovered heirloom varietals. Once I discovered those suckers I was hooked. Don't tell Luke, but I may have even spent $40 one time on tomatoes for a dinner party - that is how much I love them. I will cash out some serious cashola for those things. (If you were wondering everyone loved the most expensive tomatoes on Earth when I served them, mostly because they didn't have to pay for them). My favorite are the black zebras which are a dark, dark purple, almost black, as well the amana orange which are big huge tomatoes that are bright florescent orange. They taste pretty much like candy. I randomly drove by the Seed Bank this morning on my way to go foraging in Pt. Reyes (more on that tomorrow).This is such a Northern California thing - but the Seed Bank is an old bank building that was converted to store plant and flower seeds instead of money. They have pretty much every plant imaginable but check out all the amazing tomato seeds they have. Why does heirloom matter you ask? Well for one they taste better. To give you the short answer, it is also a way of preserving history through seeds - before agriculture became industrialized there were many different varieties of plants/flowers that were grown for sale. Once agriculture became more industrialized farmers realized that it was easier and more effective to only grow one type of variety, usually the one that was the strongest. Thankfully, there has been a movement in the recent decades to bring these plants back and places like the Seed Bank does just that. They are particularly fun to eat and cook with because they taste better and look better. Remember when I made my hanging garden? Well I planted 3 different types of heirloom tomatoes. Sadly I forgot which ones I planted but they are finally starting to produce fruit. It is going to be a surprise as to what pops out of them. Here is a great recipe for heirloom tomatoes. This recipe can be either really simple and quick by using store bought pie crust and pesto or a little more time intensive by making your own pesto and pie crust. Completely up to you. It is a great dish to serve at a dinner party because it looks pretty. Also you can of course use any type of tomato - a beefsteak would be delicious in this tart. Enjoy! [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:3]