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.
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.
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.
Serve with tortilla chips. Enjoy!
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!
By Jennifer from 1840 Farm
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/08/garden-fresh-heirloom-tomato-pico-de-gallo/
I 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!
August is a month filled with landmark moments that took place here at 1840 Farm. To begin with, we moved to this farm during August of 2005. Five years later, in 2010, I published my first post on 1840Farm.com and began to dream of turning its pages into a place where I could share my family’s experience with the world. In August of 2012, I opened The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy with a few fabric coiled baskets and the hope that you would love using them as much as we did.
Each year, I marvel at the passage of time. I try to stop for a moment to celebrate how much our lives and The 1840 Farm Community have grown. I could have never imagined that the farmhouse that became our home would come to represent so much for my family and for the readers who have come to feel at home here on our blog.
This year, September holds the promise of adding another milestone to 1840 Farm’s timeline. September of 2014 will be memorable for many reasons. To begin with, we are enjoying an amazing heirloom tomato harvest. We’re serving the beautiful, ripe fruits in one fashion or another for both lunch and dinner every day.
We have come to expect (and hope) that September’s arrival will coincide with heirloom tomato season. It really isn’t much of a surprise that we now have tomatoes in shades of pink, purple, red, yellow, and green ripening out in the garden these days. It was, however, an enormous surprise to be given the rare opportunity to be included in an article in the September issue of Real Simple Magazine!
This was a first for me. I have written about our life here at 1840 Farm. I have interviewed other farmers and compiled their answers into articles for magazines and blog posts. Yet I have never been on the other side of the equation.
The entire process was new and exciting from the interview to the photo shoot here at the farm and the weeks spent waiting impatiently to see the issue appear at our local bookstores and shops. While I was confident that we had done our best to ready the farm and ourselves for the article and the photo, I couldn’t help but feel a little anxious about the world seeing us in print.
Any trepidation I felt was matched with an equally powerful sense of appreciation. I am grateful that we were given this incredible opportunity. I will forever remember the moment, the wonderful people we met, and those who offered me encouragement and support when I needed it most. Without that support, I might have found myself completely overwhelmed by the scope of it all.
The wait is over and I couldn’t be happier to share with all of you that you can learn a little more about 1840 Farm in the article “One Giant Leap” in the September 2014 issue of Real Simple Magazine. I hope that you will enjoy reading the article as much as we enjoyed playing our part in it!
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/09/one-giant-leap-into-real-simple-magazines-september-2014-issue/
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:
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.
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.
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!
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.
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/
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/
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/
This recipe hails from RIalto restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I happened upon it by way of The Tomato Festival Cookbook. For an heirloom tomato lover like me, this cookbook is filled with delicious possibilities. It includes everything imaginable from cold salads to chocolate cakes that incorporate green tomatoes that simply won’t have enough time to ripen on the vine.
While we enjoy many recipes from or inspired by this cookbook, Chef Jody Adams’ recipe for roasted spaghetti is our absolute favorite. The dish has a wonderfully rich flavor that we look forward to all year long. The tomatoes take on a sweet earthiness after their time roasting in the oven which pairs perfectly with the arugula, onion, and basil. This dish is also beautiful, a real showstopper.
I love to tinker with recipes, adding a little of this or taking away a little of that. I am especially prone to doing so with pasta recipes, making alterations that tailor the finished dish to my family’s taste. This dish is so perfect that I have made very few changes. I didn’t need to. It’s perfectly delicious just the way it is written and sure to impress and delight everyone gathered around your table at dinnertime.
Oven Roasted Heirloom Tomato Spaghetti Adapted from Spaghetti with Slow Roasted Tomatoes, Basil, and Parmesan Cheese in The Tomato Festival Cookbook
Serves 4 as a main course
I have made very few changes to the original recipe. I find that our homegrown heirloom tomatoes don’t need the sugar called for in the original recipe, but you can certainly add it to your tomatoes if you feel that they could use a little hint of sweetness. I have also found that I can roast the tomatoes at a higher temperature than called for, reducing the cooking time by more than half with the same results. After a long day of working on the farm, I opt for getting dinner on the table in an hour instead of the three that the original recipe promises.
2 ounces olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
16 – 20 basil leaves, torn or roughly chopped
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds ripe cherry tomatoes, rinsed and dried
2 ounces olive oil
2 teaspoons Sugar (optional)
1 pound spaghetti
2 cups (3.5 ounces) arugula
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat two ounces (1/4 cup) of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute or until fragrant. Remove from heat and add the basil leaves and red pepper flakes.
Add the cherry tomatoes to an oven safe casserole dish that can hold them in a single layer. If you are using the sugar, add two teaspoons and toss the tomatoes to coat. Using a large spoon, transfer the onion olive oil mixture to the dish, placing on top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle generously with salt. Gently add the remaining 2 ounces (1/4 cup) olive oil to the sides and transfer the pan to the warm oven. Roast until the tomatoes have softened and the skins are slightly charred, approximately 45 – 60 minutes.
Near the end of the roasting time, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous teaspoon of salt to the water and return to a rapid boil. Add the spaghetti to the pot and cook until al dente according to the package instructions.
Remove the tomatoes from the oven. Add the cooked pasta and arugula to the tomatoes and toss to fully combine and coat the spaghetti with the tomato infused olive oil. Serve immediately garnished with Parmesan cheese.
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/08/oven-roasted-heirloom-tomato-spaghetti/
When it comes to simple summer dinners, this recipe is as good as it gets. In the time it takes for the water to come to a boil, I can have the entire recipe prepped and ready to cook. By the time the pasta is perfectly cooked, the sauce is ready and dinner is served.
The inspiration for this pasta dish came from another summer favorite: Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta with Basil. We love to celebrate our beloved heirloom tomato season with fresh bruschetta on a warm summer afternoon. So, why not prepare the rustic bruschetta topping and serve it with pasta instead of the traditional crusty loaf of bread?
The results are equally delicious. It’s nice to have more than one way to celebrate the long-awaited arrival of heirloom tomato season. It’s also nice to be able to serve a delicious, fresh dinner at our family table in less than 30 minutes from start to finish!
Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta Pasta Serves 4 as a main course
1 pound heirloom tomatoes, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ounce sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
1 Tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomatoes
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces mozzarella, cut into cubes
2 ounces smoked mozzarella, cut into cubes
12 ounces penne pasta
1 handful basil leaves, torn
salt and pepper to taste Balsamic Vinegar Glaze
Bring a large pot of water to a roiling boil. Add 1 Tablespoon of salt to the water and return to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente.
Meanwhile, combine the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes with the olive oil and minced garlic in a large skillet. Warm gently over low heat until the garlic is fragrant. Roughly chop or julienne the sun-dried tomatoes before adding them to the warm oil. Add the fresh tomatoes to the skillet and warm over low heat.
Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss to coat. If the pan is dry, add water from the pasta pot to moisten. Remove from the heat and add the basil and mozzarella. Gently stir the mixture. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or pepper if needed. Serve warm garnished with balsamic vinegar glaze.
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/08/heirloom-tomato-bruschetta-pasta/
To make sure that you don’t miss any of our original content or favorite recipes, DIY projects, and homesteading advice from around the web, subscribe to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter. Visit our subscription form to become the newest member of The 1840 Farm Community.