Thursday, September 24, 2009

Zebra Caprese Insalata

I remember when tomatoes were available in wooden boxes and they were always wrinkly around the stem , I grew up eating only heirloom tomatoes - because that is how tomatoes existed , back in the day . Fast forward a few years and the masses started to want the "perfect" tomato, without wrinkles, without character without flavour - but with all intent and purposes it looked like a tomato .

Remember my first blog ............. well the  zebra tomatoes are no longer lurking .

This morning I  looked at them long and hard, gave them a gently squeeze and decided that they were ready for harvest . They had started to turn a slight golden colour , they still had their stripes - but the anticipation of how and what they tasted like was killing me .

In its simplest form a tomato with a sprinke of sea salt ,a few turns of the pepper mill and a splash of extra virgin oil ............ is tomato nirvana . But , add some fresh mozzarella a splash of aged balsamic and a few sprigs of basil leaves ...... you are now on the road of complete self gratification .

I had forgotten how sweet an heirloom tomato can taste and I was quite surprised that after a very long and anxious wait of 90 days ( give or take) the zebra tomatoes were intoxicatingly delicious . Their cousins the cherry tomatoes , growing but a mere couple of feet away from them, gave me a pretty good harvest this year - taking into account the lack of summer in Chicago this year .

However , I was just wanting heirloom zebra tomatoes ............ and today I finally enjoyed the fruits of my labour !!!!!

So ...... next year as you contemplate your garden, I urge you to plant some Zebra Heirloom tomatoes , wish and hope for summer not to bypass us and enjoy tomatoes like a child in a candy store !!!

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