Category Archive: Tomato Season

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella SquarePanzanella sounds like such a fancy dish.  Ironically, it’s a rustic preparation that perfectly showcases the simple flavors of toasted bread, olive oil, vinegar, and ripe seasonal produce in what amounts to a bread salad.  This is peasant food of the very best kind, most likely created when there wasn’t much to serve for dinner other than stale bread and whatever was growing in the garden.  It’s just the sort of farmhouse style cooking that I love to create, serve, and enjoy at our family table.

While I have enjoyed versions of panzanella that feature fresh onions, cucumbers, and all manner of other delicious additions, my favorite is a dish that centers on the heirloom tomatoes we grow in our garden.  I turn to this dish when tomatoes are aplenty.  I am always amazed at how delicious it tastes given its humble ingredients and preparation.

It’s really no wonder that I love this dish so much.  I’m a person who firmly believes that the dressing served at Thanksgiving dinner is the star of the meal. So, this salad of crusty cubes of seasoned bread tossed with juicy tomatoes, garlic, and basil is like my summer recipe dream come true.

This dish comes together easily.  It’s a no muss, no fuss sort of preparation.  While there is a good amount of slicing and chopping to prep the bread and tomatoes, it can all be prepared ahead of time and assembled before serving. 

This recipe is ideal for using up a variety of types of ripe tomatoes.  I use large slicing tomatoes alongside cherry and grape tomatoes.  Large tomatoes can be cored and diced while smaller cherry and grape tomatoes are sliced in half or quarters depending on their size.  The result is a gorgeous dish full of a variety of flavors and textures that you’ll enjoy eating right down to the last bite.

Speaking of last bites, don’t allow any of this delicious panzanella to go to waste.  While it is most delicious the day it is made, leftovers can be transformed into a delicious savory bread pudding or reheated under the broiler before being topped with a poached egg.  Like so many dishes, the flavor is even better the following day.  Much like that Thanksgiving dressing I look forward to every year, I often make a double batch of this panzanella so that I can be certain that there will be leftovers to enjoy the next night for dinner.   It’s simply too delicious not to dream of eating it on a second night!

Heirloom Tomato Panzanella
I like to garnish panzanella with a bit of balsamic vinegar glaze. It’s thick and delicious, a perfect pairing for the other flavors in this salad. I find the glaze in my grocery stores stocked near the specialty vinegars or in the Italian food section. If you are unable to find it, you can certainly use a splash of good balsamic vinegar or simply omit the garnish when serving.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large loaf of crusty bread (about 1 pound)
  2. 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  3. salt and pepper
  4. 1 pound heirloom tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
  5. 1 teaspoon sea salt
  6. 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  7. 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
  8. 2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes packed in oil, julienned
  9. 1 tablespoon oil from the jar of sundried tomatoes
  10. ½ cup basil leaves, sliced into thin ribbons
  11. 1 ounce Parmesan cheese
  12. salt and pepper to taste
  13. balsamic vinegar or glaze
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the bread into bite sized pieces (approximately 1” in size). Add the bread cubes to a large bowl. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the bread cubes. Season the bread cubes liberally with salt and pepper. Toss the cubes, adding another tablespoon of oil if needed. Spread the cubes out on a large baking sheet.
  2. Transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until crisp and lightly browned. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the bread cubes to cool to room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the tomatoes by coring large tomatoes before dicing or simply slicing cherry or grape sized tomatoes in half or quarters. The tomato pieces should be bite sized, slightly smaller than the cubes of bread. Place the tomato pieces in a bowl and toss with the teaspoon of sea salt. Transfer the salted tomatoes to a small colander set over the bowl to catch the juices as they drain away from the tomatoes.
  4. In a small pot over low heat, warm the 3 tablespoons olive oil, sliced garlic, sundried tomatoes, and tablespoon of oil from the sundried tomatoes until fragrant. Continue to cook over low heat for 2-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. The flavors of the garlic and sundried tomatoes will infuse the olive oil with their delicious flavors.
  5. All of this prep work can be done hours ahead of time. The bread, tomatoes, and olive oil infusion can be allowed to rest at room temperature until you are ready to assemble the panzanella. I recommend assembling the panzanella about 30 minutes before you intend to serve it. This will allow the bread to retain its texture and give the flavors time to meld and be absorbed by the bread.
  6. To assemble the panzanella, place the toasted bread in a large bowl. Add the reserved tomato juices, tossing gently. The bread should absorb the tomato juice and soften slightly. Add the diced tomatoes, olive oil infusion, basil, and Parmesan to the bowl. Toss gently to evenly distribute the ingredients. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if necessary.
  7. Allow the panzanella to sit for up to 30 minutes before serving. Serve at room temperature, garnishing with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinegar glaze if desired. Enjoy!
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Garden Fresh Heirloom Tomato Pico de Gallo

 Heirloom Tomato Pico de Gallo Gold Branded

When heirloom tomatoes are ripening by the basket full in our garden, I experiment with all sorts of ways to feature them on our farmhouse table.  I really love preparations that require little to no cooking, allowing the natural texture and delicious flavor of an heirloom tomato to be the star.

This pico de gallo definitely fits the bill.  It’s packed with delicious flavor, texture, and bright color.  It’s so beautiful on the plate and a wonderful way to enjoy the glorious flavor or tomatoes fresh from the garden without heating up the kitchen on a hot summer’s day.

I love to use cherry tomatoes of varying colors when they are available to celebrate the range of red, purple, yellow, and black colors we grow here in our garden. The burst of color and flavor on our plates is always a welcome sight.

Heirloom Tomato Pico de Gallo Ingredients Square WM   Heirloom Tomato Pico with Guac WM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garden Fresh Heirloom Tomato Pico de Gallo
I love to use cherry tomatoes for this recipe. They can easily be quartered to create the perfect size bite. If you are using larger slicing tomatoes, simply seed the tomatoes before chopping to prevent the pico de gallo from being too runny. If you like a bit of heat with your Pico de Gallo, add a bit of minced jalapeno pepper to the tomatoes and onions.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 Tablespoons onion, minced very finely
  2. 2 cups fresh heirloom tomatoes, diced
  3. ¼ cup fresh cilantro, torn or chopped
  4. 1-2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  5. salt to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the onion, tomato, and cilantro. Add 1 teaspoon of lime juice and a generous sprinkling of salt. Stir to combine and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes to allow the flavors to combine and the tomato to release its juice. Stir, taste for seasoning, and add more lime or salt as needed.
  2. Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Pico de Gallo means "rooster's beak" in Spanish. It is thought that the name originated from the appearance of the red tomato pieces in the dish. It seems like the perfect name to me!
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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/08/garden-fresh-heirloom-tomato-pico-de-gallo/

Heirloom Tomato Pie

Heirloom Tomato Pie at 1840 FarmIf I ranked my favorite foods, heirloom tomatoes and homemade pie would both be at the top of my list.  In fact, they might occupy the first and second spot.  Please don’t ask me to choose one of them as my absolute favorite because I’m not sure that I could.

Thanks to this recipe, I can combine my love of the two and serve a delicious dinner at our family table.  Heirloom Tomato Pie is a family favorite when we are harvesting ripe heirloom tomatoes from our garden every day.  It combines the delicious flavors of heirloom tomatoes with the richness of buttery pie crust.  It also beautifully pairs the soft texture of the ripe fruit with flaky pie crust.  One bite and you’ll understand why we love it so much!

 

Heirloom Tomato Pie
Serves 4 to 6

If you have a favorite pie crust recipe, it can be put to good use in this recipe.  I like to make a slightly savory crust by adding my favorite olive oils from the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club instead of the ice water usually called for in a pie crust recipe.  The resulting pie crust is flaky and delicious, filled with the earthy flavor of great olive oil. You can read my favorite pie crust tips to create a delicious pie crust every single time.

The pie crust in this recipe should be blind baked, or prebaked before the filling is added.  Because the tomato filling is so juicy, adding it to an unbaked pie crust would result in a soggy crust.  By blind baking the crust and topping it with a bit of grated cheese, the crust will develop into a flaky base for the unctuous filling.Heirloom Tomato Pie Crust at 1840 Farm

1 1/2 pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes
2 cups (240 grams) All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons (4 ounces) butter, grated
4 Tablespoons (2 ounces) extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 Tablespoons basil, chopped
2 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
2 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, grated
8 ounces ricotta cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 eggs
Balsamic glaze for serving, if desired

Slice the tomatoes into 1″ thick rounds.  Place them in a colander to drain as you prepare the crust.  Allowing some of the excess liquid to drain away will help to concentrate the tomato flavor and yield a rich, thick filling.

To make the crust, place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse the dry ingredients to combine.  Add the grated butter and pulse until the butter has begun to incorporate into the flour and resembles small grains of rice.

With the motor running, add the olive oil one Tablespoon at a time until the dough forms a ball.  Take care not to over process the dough.  Over processing will help to develop the gluten in the flour and lead to a crust that is chewy and tough.  Less is more when it comes to working pie crust and will result in a flaky, light crust.

Transfer the pie crust dough to a pie plate.  Using your fingers, press the dough into shape gently until it is a uniform thickness and completely covers the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Flute or decorate the top edge if desired and transfer the pie plate to the refrigerator to chill while the oven warms.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil to catch any pie filling that may bubble over during baking.  When the oven has come up to temperature, remove the pie plate from the refrigerator and place on the baking sheet. Line the plate with a sheet of aluminum foil, pressing very gently to settle it into the edges of the crust.  Add dried beans, rice, or ceramic pie weights to weigh down the crust as it bakes.

Place the pie plate on the lined baking sheet before transferring to the hot oven. Blind bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crust begins to set up but before it begins to brown. Remove the crust from the oven.  Carefully remove the foil and beans, rice, or weights.  These items will be extremely hot, so take care when removing them. After the weights have cooled, they can be stored and used over and over again.

Heirloom Tomato Pie FillingReduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Sprinkle half of the grated Parmesan cheese over the bottom of the blind baked pie crust.  Allow the crust to cool as you prepare the filling.

In a small skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion in a teaspoon of olive oil until translucent, approximately 5-8 minutes.  Stir frequently to prevent the onion from burning.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, create the filling.  Combine the mozzarella cheese, smoked mozzarella, ricotta, mayonnaise, and eggs.  Stir until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange the sliced tomatoes to cover the bottom of the pie crust.  Spread the sautéed onions over the tomatoes and sprinkle the basil on top.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer the filling to the pie, spreading gently to completely cover the tomatoes.  Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on top.

Transfer the pie to the 400 degree oven.  Bake until the filling is lightly set in the middle and bubbly and browned on top, approximately 30 minutes.  If the filling sets before it has browned sufficiently on top, simply broil the pie for a brief few minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.


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Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/09/heirloom-tomato-pie/

Freezing Cherry Tomatoes for Long Term Storage

Freezing Tomatoes at 1840 FarmI love heirloom tomato season.  When our garden is producing ripe tomatoes, we enjoy them at almost every meal.  We also put them up for the long New England winter that lies ahead.  We have found that cherry tomatoes are ideally suited for long-term storage in the freezer.

I know that most people preserve tomato season by canning diced tomatoes.  I much prefer freezing cherry and small sized tomatoes.  There’s no need to blanch, peel, or stand over a boiling pot of water on an already hot summer day.  Instead, I can preserve the fresh summer flavor of our homegrown tomatoes in minutes and skip the steamy process of prepping and canning them.

Once I discovered how simple the process was and how delicious the resulting tomatoes were, I started planting more cherry tomatoes.  Year after year, I find myself planting just a few more in my quest to ensure that we can make it to the end of winter before we find that we have exhausted our supply of homegrown tomatoes.

The process is amazingly simple.  Washed cherry, grape, and salad sized tomatoes are allowed to air dry before freezing them in a single layer on a baking tray overnight.  I like to line the tray with a piece of freezer paper to ensure that they don’t stick to the tray. Once they are frozen solid, we transfer them to freezer bags and store them for use during the long winter season.

This method of preservation is simple and effective.  We enjoy fresh tomato sauces with the intense flavor of these cherry tomatoes all winter long.  I also use them in recipes that call for diced tomatoes like our favorite chili.  With each delicious bite, we are reminded that the next tomato season is one day closer.  During our long New England winter, that reminder is a very welcome sight!

We’re offering our favorite heirloom tomato varieties in our 2016 Heirloom Tomato Seed Collection.  You can learn all about it in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.

 


To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.

Our newsletter isn’t the only way to follow what’s happening here at 1840 Farm.
You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm
and at The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.
You can also find 1840 Farm throughout the social media universe on
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, and Bloglovin‘.

We even created a new 1840 Farm Community Newsletter Pinterest board to catalog
our newsletter content so that you could easily pin your favorites to your own boards.

Come add your voice to our conversation!
We’ll hope to see you there!


 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/08/freezing-cherry-tomatoes-for-long-term-storage/

The Tomato Lover’s Garden Heirloom Seed Collection

Heirloom tomatoes are a delightful sign of summer here at 1840 Farm.  Each year we plant over 100 heirloom tomato plants and wait, rather impatiently, for that first tomato to ripen.  When that moment finally arrives, it is cause for a celebration of the most delicious kind.

Last year, we offered a collection of four of our favorite heirloom tomato varieties to our customers.  This year, our Tomato Lover’s Garden features six of our favorite heirloom tomato varieties:

Black Cherry
Costoluto Genovese
Green Zebra
Isis Candy Cherry
Mortgage Lifter
Purple Calabash

The Tomato Lover’s Garden Heirloom Seed Collection is available in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.  The 2014 Heirloom Seed Collection is a collaboration between 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily.  Together, we have curated our favorite heirloom varieties into collections that are ideally suited for growing together.  The heirloom, non-GMO seeds in our collection are from family owned seed purveyor Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

1840 Farm

This year, 1840 Farm offers five heirloom seed collections for purchase. The 1840 Farm Favorites Garden includes six of our favorite varieties to plant in the gardens here at 1840 Farm. The Easy Keepers Garden includes four varieties that are perfect for the beginning gardener and can be sown directly into a small garden plot or containers. The Pollinators Garden features six flowering plants that will help to attract beneficial pollinators to your garden. Our Three Sisters Garden includes four packets of seed that allow you to enjoy delicious produce and an American history lesson as you put into practice one of the oldest forms of companion planting.   The Tomato Lover’s Garden features six of our favorite heirloom tomato varieties.

We invite you to join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook to share updates from your garden and keep up to date on what we’re harvesting from our heirloom gardens. We’ll also be sharing regular garden updates along with fresh, seasonal recipes in our 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and The Fresh Eggs Daily Newsletter.  In the meantime, you can view photos from the gardens at 1840 Farm by visiting our Garden Photo Tour.  More photos will be added as we progress through the 2014 growing season.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/03/the-tomato-lovers-garden-heirloom-seed-collection/

Purple Calabash Heirloom Tomato

Purple Calabash Heirloom Tomatoes have been in the 1840 Farm vegetable gardens since our first summer living here in 2006.  Every year, we look forward to that first slice of Purple Calabash still warm from the sunshine.  If I had to choose just one tomato to grow, this variety would be in the running.

The Purple Calabash has a rich flavor and striking appearance.  The ripened fruits are slightly flattened and beautifully ruffled with a burgundy to deep purple color.  The vines are prolific producers of medium fruits around 3″ wide.

The taste of the Purple Calabash is often compared to red wines such as Cabernet.  The taste is rich and full of old-fashioned tomato flavor with just the right blend of sweetness and acidity.  The flesh is smooth and meaty with evenly distributed seeds.  We love to enjoy this tomato on freshly grilled panini with mozzarella and basil.  The flavor of the Purple Calabash really sings when it is used in a slowly simmered tomato sauce.

One bite of a perfectly ripe Purple Calabash Heirloom Tomato and you would understand why we love this variety so much.  Every year, I expect to find a new variety that I will enjoy just as much. It’s been seven years and I still haven’t found a tomato that can compete in terms of appearance, yield, or more importantly, taste.  Next year, there will again be Purple Calabash tomato seedlings growing in the heirloom garden at 1840 Farm.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/03/purple-calabash-heirloom-tomato-2/

Mortgage Lifter Heirloom Tomato

This tomato comes with a story the likes of which legends are made.  It all starts with a man named M.C. Byles who friends affectionately called Charlie in West Virginia.  He ran his own radiator repair business and was struggling to make it through the Great Depression.  He took it upon himself, with no prior plant breeding experience mind you, to cross ten tomato plants with a German Johnson tomato.

Several years later, he had what he believed was the perfect tomato.  He sold seedlings for $1.00 each and the plants were soon so popular that gardeners drove as far as 200 miles to purchase his plants.  In only six years had earned the $6,000.00 needed to pay off the mortgage on his house.  The legend was born, the name “Mortgage Lifter” was earned and a delicious tomato was born.

This plant produces large, slightly flattened beefsteak type fruits.  It has an extremely meaty flesh and contains very few seeds.  These tomatoes have a tendency to develop cracks along their shoulders, but the flavor will not be affected. Ripe fruits weigh upwards of one pound each.  It is not uncommon for a plant to develop fruits that weigh three pounds each!

This is a truly delicious slicing tomato and is listed on Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste.  Their description of the flavor is “a spicy flavor and low acidity. The taste starts off mild and then builds, with a long finish on the palate. It has a roasted, fruity and slightly salty flavor.”  We think you’ll agree that this tomato is as delicious as its story is unforgettable.

The Mortgage Lifter Heirloom Tomato is one of the six varieties included in our Tomato Lover’s Garden Heirloom Seed Collection available in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.  The 2014 Heirloom Seed Collection is a collaboration between 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily.  Together, we have curated our favorite heirloom varieties into collections that are ideally suited for growing together.  The heirloom, non-GMO seeds in our collection are from family owned seed purveyor Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

1840 Farm

We invite you to join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook to share updates from your garden and keep up to date on what we’re harvesting from our heirloom gardens. We’ll also be sharing regular garden updates along with fresh, seasonal recipes in our 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and The Fresh Eggs Daily Newsletter.  In the meantime, you can view photos from the gardens at 1840 Farm by visiting our Garden Photo Tour.  More photos will be added as we progress through the 2014 growing season.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/03/mortgage-lifter-heirloom-tomato/

Isis Candy Cherry Heirloom Tomato

2006 was the first summer we lived at 1840 Farm.  That year, we planted a small garden with a handful of heirloom tomato varieties.  We were new to heirloom gardening and selected the varieties for that year’s garden in a very non-scientific manner.  We simply chose heirlooms with names that drew us to them.  A tomato named “Isis Candy Cherry” sounded beautiful and sweet, a combination that we couldn’t wait to watch ripen in our tiny garden.

We were thrilled when an Isis Candy Cherry was the very first tomato to ripen.  It was indeed beautiful and sweet.  Sliced in half, my children eagerly ate that first tomato while still warm from the sunshine.  We have been growing Isis Candy Cherry now for eight seasons and it is predictably the very first tomato that is ripe enough to harvest from our heirloom garden.

While its early ripening habit make this variety popular here at 1840 Farm, we would continue to plant it regardless.  The flavor of this tomato is the real reason it keeps finding its way into our tomato patch every year.  Knowing that it ripens in less than 70 days is merely icing on the proverbial cake.

These beautiful orbs are packed with sweet, jammy tomato flavor.  They ripen to a beautiful red-orange with lighter golden shoulders and a trademark starburst pattern on the blossom end of the fruit. This is the perfect tomato for the person in your life who doesn’t think that they like tomatoes.  One bite of this lovely heirloom should be all it takes to convince them that they love this tomato!

The Isis Candy Cherry Heirloom Tomato is one of the six varieties included in our Tomato Lover’s Garden Heirloom Seed Collection available in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.  The 2014 Heirloom Seed Collection is a collaboration between 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily.  Together, we have curated our favorite heirloom varieties into collections that are ideally suited for growing together.  The heirloom, non-GMO seeds in our collection are from family owned seed purveyor Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

1840 Farm

We invite you to join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook to share updates from your garden and keep up to date on what we’re harvesting from our heirloom gardens. We’ll also be sharing regular garden updates along with fresh, seasonal recipes in our 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and The Fresh Eggs Daily Newsletter.  In the meantime, you can view photos from the gardens at 1840 Farm by visiting our Garden Photo Tour.  More photos will be added as we progress through the 2014 growing season.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/03/isis-candy-cherry-heirloom-tomato/

Green Zebra Heirloom Tomato

Of all the tomatoes we grow here at 1840 Farm, the Green Zebra is perhaps the most striking.  When fully ripe, each tomato is a fabulous bright green color with beautiful bright stripes.  In a  garden full of red, pink, purple, orange, and yellow, the Green Zebra stands out.  The brilliant color alone would be reason enough for me to plant these beautiful tomatoes every year.

This tomato isn’t just a pretty face, it’s also delicious.  The Green Zebra’s flavor is bright, slightly acidic, and tangy enough to be the star of in any dish.  These tomatoes make a wonderful addition to fresh salsas, tomato salads, and pastas.  The bright color and flavor of the Green Zebra are sure to brighten up any tomato dish served at your family table.

Some experts don’t classify the Green Zebra as an heirloom given its introduction to seed catalogs in the 1980s.  However, this tomato seems more ideally suited for classifying as an heirloom than in any other category.  Tom Wagner began developing this tomato by using four individual varieties back in the 1950s.  One of the tomatoes he used was the Evergreen, a medium sized and colored green tomato.

Unlike the terms “organic” or “non-GMO”, there is not a clear definition about what an heirloom variety can or cannot be, although there are certain characteristics that they share.  Heirlooms are open pollinated varieties that have been grown for a long period of time and passed down through the generations.  It is common for them to not have been used in large scale agricultural production.  Some people also require a variety to have been in existence for at least 50 years in order to be considered a true heirloom.

So, as you can see, if we work forward from the 1950s when the Green Zebra was created, it is clearly deserving of being considered an heirloom.  However, if we only calculate the age of this variety from the date it was first offered for sale, then we would still have a decade to wait until we could label it as an heirloom.

So, is the Green Zebra an heirloom?  I choose to think of this beautiful variety as an heirloom given the date of its creation.  I know that other gardeners prefer to calculate the age of this variety from the date is first appeared in a seed catalog.  To each their own, but either way, this variety is legendary and will soon have reached an age to be considered an heirloom by each and every gardener who enjoys its beauty and flavor in their gardens each summer.

The Green Zebra Heirloom Tomato is one of the six varieties included in our Tomato Lover’s Garden Heirloom Seed Collection available in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy.  The 2014 Heirloom Seed Collection is a collaboration between 1840 Farm and Fresh Eggs Daily.  Together, we have curated our favorite heirloom varieties into collections that are ideally suited for growing together.  The heirloom, non-GMO seeds in our collection are from family owned seed purveyor Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

1840 Farm

We invite you to join The 1840 Farm Community on Facebook and Fresh Eggs Daily on Facebook to share updates from your garden and keep up to date on what we’re harvesting from our heirloom gardens. We’ll also be sharing regular garden updates along with fresh, seasonal recipes in our 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and The Fresh Eggs Daily Newsletter.  In the meantime, you can view photos from the gardens at 1840 Farm by visiting our Garden Photo Tour.  More photos will be added as we progress through the 2014 growing season.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/03/green-zebra-heirloom-tomato/

Costoluto Genovese Heirloom Tomato

If you’re looking for a tomato to thrive in the summer heat, look no further. The Costoluto Genovese variety hails from the Mediterranean.  For centuries, gardeners living along the Mediterranean found that this tomato loved the intense summer heat and sunshine.  The gardeners loved the fantastic flavor that this tomato brought to their dinner plates.

The Costoluto is also a strikingly beautiful tomato.  It’s fruit exhibits deep fluting along the shoulders.  When used as a slicing tomato, each slice will exhibit a beautiful scalloped edge.  I can’t be sure, but perhaps Thomas Jefferson grew the Costoluto Genovese for its beauty as much as its flavor.  I can only imagine how striking they must have been while growing in his beloved garden at Monticello.

Costoluto Genovese tomatoes are delicious eaten fresh as a slicing tomato.  This tomato also performs well when skinned and used in slow simmered sauces.  The flesh is meaty with an abundance of juice and tart tomato flavor.

At 1840 Farm, we love the Costoluto Genovese for its striking beauty and old-fashioned tomato flavor.  Every summer, we celebrate heirloom tomato season with the Costoluto Genovese.  Somehow, I think that Thomas Jefferson would have wanted it that way.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/03/costoluto-genovese-heirloom-tomato/

Black Cherry Heirloom Tomato

We love cherry tomatoes here at 1840 Farm.  It just wouldn’t be summer, or tomato season as we like to call it, without enjoying the experience of strolling through the raised bed garden and plucking a warm cherry tomato directly from the vine before popping it into your mouth.  Every year, we plant several varieties of heirloom cherry tomatoes and every year we declare the Black Cherry to be our favorite.

We plant dozens of Black Cherry Heirloom Tomato plants in the 1840 Farm gardens each year.  At the height of the harvest, we pick pounds of these beautiful little orbs every day.  We eat an abundance of them fresh and oven roast others for fresh pasta dishes.  We also put them up for the long New England winter that lies ahead.

We have found that these cherry tomatoes are ideally suited for long-term storage in the freezer.  Washed Black Cherry tomatoes are allowed to air dry before freezing them in a single layer on a baking tray overnight.  Once they are frozen solid, we transfer them to freezer bags and store them for use during the long winter season.

This method of preservation is simple and effective.  We enjoy fresh tomato sauces with the intense flavor of these cherry tomatoes all winter long.  With each delicious bite, we are reminded that the next tomato season is one day closer.  During our long New England winter, that reminder is a very welcome sight!

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/03/black-cherry-heirloom-tomato-2/

Heirloom Tomato Profile: Blondkopfchen Cherry

The Blondkopfchen Heirloom Cherry Tomato originated in Germany.  In German, the word “blondkopfchen” translates to “little blonde girl”.  My daughter was a little blond girl when we first began growing this tomato here at 1840 Farm.  In fact, she was the reason that I first ordered these heirloom seeds and planted them in our heirloom tomato garden.

The incredible taste and production of this heirloom was the reason we kept planting them each year.  Every year, our Blondkopfchen plants are the most prolific in the garden.  A single branch holds dozens of tiny orbs waiting to ripen in the sun.  I am always amazed at just how many tomatoes these plants can produce.

I’m also taken by the unique color of these ripe tomatoes.  They are golden yellow with a tinge of lime green undertones when they are fully ripe.  They are beautiful when used in fresh tomato dishes or sauces, bringing a lovely contrast to the other red colored tomatoes in the dish.

The Blondkopfchen tomato has a sweet, earthy flavor with a touch of citrus.  It’s a perfectly balanced blend of sweet and brightness.  It is a disease resistant variety that consistently produces tomatoes without cracked skins.  It also tolerates our cooler nights here in New England, making it perfectly suited to growing in our garden.  One taste of this fantastic variety and you’ll understand why it is a favorite here at 1840 Farm.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/08/heirloom-tomato-profile-blondkopfchen-cherry/

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