I LOVE tomatoes!! They were one of the 2 things that I craved during pregnancy (the other was watermelon). If I could only choose one food to eat for the rest of my life It would definitely be tomatoes!
Arkansas has been known for some of its Tomato varietals for years, especially the Bradley County ones. Bradley County is home to the annual Pink Tomato festival. Maybe my love for tomatoes stemmed from my mom entering me in the Little Miss Pink Tomato Pageant in 1976 and 1977. I didn’t win but I did make the top 10 both years and I would say that is about the time that I remember loving this red delicious veggie (or some might say fruit)!
About 5-7 years ago I had a client outside of San Francisco, close to San Jose actually. I made several trips out to their project for a few years and during that time would stay over in San Fran and visit the wine country regularly!! It was on some of these trips that I was introduced to California Heirloom tomatoes and they were like nothing I had ever experienced!! I often still have dreams about how delicious these tomatoes are during their season which is around August or September. I enjoyed them in Napa at the the restaurant Tra Vigne and in San Fran at Jeanty at Jacks among other places. I would also go buy them in the grocery stores and combine them with my favorite meats and cheeses from Oakville Grocery (one of my favorite places ever!!) and would sit outside of Frank Family Winery with a bottle of their cabernet and have the time of my life! Just thinking about these memories makes my mouth water!!!
Last year after learning about our common love of Heirlooms, my dear friend Kathy Greeley gave me this fabulous book, The Heirloom Tomato! It is so gorgeous and informative! If you love tomatoes like I do, you should take a look at it here! It has lots of great photos, history, and recipes.
And speaking of recipes…
One of my favorite new Appetizers, Mini BLTs, is made with Tomatoes…Strawberry Tomatoes actually! I found it in May when I was in New York. It was one of the lovely hor d’oeuvres at David Duncan Antiques for the book signing of Susanna Salk’s new book Weekend Retreats! I loved this recipe so much that I have already made it at home and it is a huge hit at parties!
Strawberry tomatoes (slice off top and hollow out, cut tip off bottom so tomatoes will stand up on the tray) Note: I find the strawberry tomatoes at the Fresh Market
finely shredded lettuce
Japanese Mayonnaise (this is mayo with wasabi)
Mix lettuce, bacon and mayo together and stuff the tomatoes! It is the perfect bit size treat that is full of flavor!!
I gave the recipe to my favorite caterer and she actually made these for a party at my mom’s! She split them in half but I find they taste better when “stuffed” as the recipe calls for! But either way, they are pretty and delicious!!
Day #5 of Things I LOVE…TOMATOES!!