Stop Staring at Those Beautiful Heirloom Tomatoes and Eat Them!

This season is a blessing and a curse. We spend all winter salivating over the idea of perfectly ripe tomatoes, and as summer ends we are so overrun that we start giving them away/forcing them upon anyone close enough to catch one.

Plus, sometimes I feel overwhelmed by gorgeous produce to the point where I hesitate to do anything more to it than wash it and eat it out of hand. Why mess with a good thing? Heirloom tomatoes are a perfect example of produce I just want to stare at. Sea salt, black pepper and olive oil are really all you need to savor your heirloom varieties, freshly plucked from the vine. But preserving these beauties for snowy days is beyond simple.

A simple pickling liquid of vinegar, salt, and sugar will do the trick, especially for any stubborn green tomatoes that refuse to ripen. My all-time favorite tomato preservation method is chow chow, which is sweet, herbaceous, and laced with earthy onions and chilies. It’s a perfect fridge condiment that can stand in for salsa or ketchup on burgers.

Try making up a quick batch of butter-based dough, roll it out into a circle, and form it around perfect slices of heirlooms. Dot with a touch of goat cheese and bake or grill until everything is nice and bubbly and brown. Galette perfection, fit for a brunch or bbq crowd!

And when in doubt, cheese (think bouratta, parmesan, and goat), spicy green olive oil, sea salt, and fresh herbs can turn heirlooms into a full-blown meal.

About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.