Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta with Steak Spinach Salad

Growing up, I’d never been a fan of tomatoes.  In fact, at dinner I would often trade my little sister her cucumber slices for my tomatoes (ssh, still don’t think my mom knows this).  I’ve since been converted, and now know that nothing compares to the taste of a local and sustainably grown, vine-ripened tomato.  Why do these tomatoes taste so incredibly different from the ones in supermarkets?  They’re grown from non-gmo, heirloom seeds, not treated with herbicides or pesticides, and been allowed to ripen on the vine.  Unfortunately, most of what you find in supermarkets are picked green for transportation durability, treated with chemicals to slow down ripening, kept in cold storage for months, transported hundreds if not thousands of miles, then artificially ripened with ethylene gas.  As a result, “it’s no longer a tomato… it’s the notion of a tomato…” – Michael Pollan. 

For years, On The Vine and The Backyard Farmer have lovingly and sustainably grown the sweetest and most beautiful varieties of tomatoes.  This weekend at the North Scottsdale Farmers Market, I just tasted a garden peach tomato which interestingly has a fuzzy surface with a faint peach flavor.

dying to try this pineapple tomato

 

Heirloom and cherry tomatoes from On The Vine

I’ve lost sleep over deciding what to do with the amazing heirloom tomatoes available at the farmers market. Roasted tomato pasta? Heirloom tomato soup?  Sometimes the best dinners are the ones that come together at the last minute.  For me, this meant having little to no time to cook anything with a hungry and tired 8 month old, and a late arriving husband.  This recipe is the perfect weeknight dinner.  


Pugliese bread

Toast in butter and olive oil
Serve with steak salad for dinner

Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta

1 T butter
3 T olive oil
4  one inch thick slices pugliese bread
1 pint heirloom tomatoes, halved
1 T balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
4 basil leaves, chiffonade
1 clove garlic
Bunch of baby spinach leaves (optional)
Thinly sliced pieces of steak (optional)

Add balsamic vinegar and 2 T olive oil to tomatoes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.  Heat skillet on medium heat, and add butter and 1 T olive oil.  Add bread to skillet, and toast each side until golden brown.  Rub the garlic clove on one side of the toasts.  Top tomato mixture on top of toasts.  Top with basil.  Appetizer: Serves 4.   

For a meal: Serve with baby spinach and your favorite slices of steak.  Spoon reserved balsamic dressing over salad.  Enjoy! 

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