I LOVE peanut butter and I LOVE tomatoes. Of course if you are a regular reader of this blog you already know that. The blog is a testimony to Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, my favorite, my kids favorite and now my adorable granddaughter, Finley’s favorite.
Tomatoes, especially Jersey Tomatoes are a passion of mine. I eat them all summer long and as far into fall as I can. Once there are no locally grown tomatoes, I literally STOP eating fresh tomatoes! I have vintage tomato salt and pepper shakers, a tomato-shaped tea pot, tomato sugar and creamer, tomato cookbooks, a collection of cans of Italian tomatoes and best of all, a tomato tattoo. Well now that’s out there to the world. I was born in New Jersey and I often describe myself (to my husband) as “one hot Jersey tomato” – that’s me.
And as if Big Boy, Beefsteak, Arkansas Traveler,Bella Rosa, Brandymaster Pink, Charger and hundreds more varieties weren’t enough to tantalize your taste buds, add Heirloom Tomatoes! You’ve seen them with their bulbous, knobby, colorful shapes. Sometimes they look weird, misshapen and in a palette of colors not necessarily in the red family! They don’t always look appetizing, however, they are sweet and flavorful. They come in a variety of sizes and add great interest to your summer salads. But don’t let their use just end up in a wooden salad bowl – here are two Heirloom tomato recipes you will love to make and serve.
GRILLED HEIRLOOM TOMATO AND PESTO PIZZA
1 lb pizza dough
flour for dusting
4 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup basil pesto
1 lb Heirloom tomatoes thinly-sliced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Preheat grill to medium heat.
Divide dough into 4 balls, dust work surface with flour and roll each ball into a 9″ circle. Brush both sides of the circles with olive oil, place on baking sheet. Working with one circle at a time, place on grill rack and with tongs rotate the crust so it cooks evenly, browned on the bottom and air bubbles on top, 3-4 minutes.
Transfer pizza to baking sheet browned side up. Spread 2 TBS of basil pesto on crust and top with sliced tomatoes. Don’t cover entire pizza or it will be soggy. Season with salt and pepper and dot with the cheese. Slide pizza back onto the grill, close the cover and rotate pizza so it cooks evenly and cheese begins to melt – about 3 minutes. Lift back onto baking sheet. Repeat with each pizza.
ROASTED HEIRLOOM BUTTER WITH THYME
1 very large or 2 medium-sized red Heirloom tomatoes
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1TBS chopped thyme or oregano
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the tomatoes cut side down onto the paper. Roast until the skins are wrinkled and blistered, and the tomatoes are very soft, 30-35 minutes depending on the size. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Place the tomatoes and any juices in the bowl of a foodprocessor. Process until very smooth and no seeds or large pieces of skin are visible, 2-3 minutes; stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently.
Add the butter, salt, and pepper, and process until blended, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl, 2-3 minutes. Then, stir in the thyme and scrape into a small bowl and cover. (Or, make a log of butter by spooning it onto a sheet of waxed paper, folding the paper over the butter and rolling it gently until you have a sausage shape; twist the ends to seal.)
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 4 days. You can also wrap the log in foil and freeze for up to 3 months; thaw it in the refrigerator.
**Melt this concentrated compound butter over grilled steaks, toss it with flame-kissed vegetables, or freeze some for a burst of summer flavor in the winter months. Use very ripe, very red tomatoes for best color and flavor.
Thanks to Gail for sending me the article on Heirloom tomatoes!
- Heirloom Tomatoes (pearlsandparsnips.blogspot.com)
- Grilled Heirloom Tomato Relish (noshmyway.com)
- Heirloom Tomato and Corn Pie (cafecarol.com)