Fresh Heirloom Tomato Salad RecipeSo...just what is an heirloom?
HeirloomAn heirloom is generally considered to be a variety that has been passed down, through several generations of a family because of it's valued characteristics. Since 'heirloom' varieties have become popular in the past few years there have been liberties taken with the use of this term for commercial purposes. At TomatoFest Garden Seeds we chose to adopt the definition used by tomato experts, Craig LeHoullier and Carolyn Male, who have classified down heirlooms into four categories:
- Commercial Heirlooms: Open-pollinated varieties introduced before 1940, or tomato varieties more than 50 years in circulation.
- Family Heirlooms: Seeds that have been passed down for several generations through a family.
- Created Heirlooms: Crossing two known parents (either two heirlooms or an heirloom and a hybrid) and dehybridizing the resulting seeds for how ever many years/generations it takes to eliminate the undesirable characteristics and stabilize the desired characteristics, perhaps as many as 8 years or more.
- Mystery Heirlooms: Varieties that are a product of natural cross-pollination of other heirloom varieties.
I used some heirlooms, grape, cherry and a mixture of multi colored tomatoes.
So lets put it together!
combine about 2 pounds of ripe heirloom tomatoes (choose a variety of colors and sizes, as well as the most perfect tomatoes you can find at the height of the season). Cut them into various sizes: wedges, thick slices, in half, or, if you have some tiny cherry tomatoes, leave them whole.Toss them with fresh arugula greens. the bitterness will complement the flavors. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and your favorite vinegar (balsamic, red wine, or sherry would be good). I like to use 3 to 1 part oil to vinegar.