Monday, September 29, 2008

Heirloom Dreams

Some say 'toe-MAY-toe.'

Others say "toe-MAH-toe."

I say Heirloom.

Pronunciation is often a topic of conversation and can become a hot debate between people who grew up saying the same word differently. There are many examples of words with differing pronunciations depending on the tongue. Though---- in my mind---- these hot topics began in the tomato world and garden of a dream I had.

I don't often dream of tomatoes, but when I do, they are a family of 6, each with their own personality, size, color, smell, and taste---- all a seated at the dinner table. In my dream, I was the Green Zebra Heirlette, seeing "red" and intent upon going cannibalistic upon the Mortgage Lifter Heirlee.

In case you're curious--- and didn't stop reading after the first sentence--- the Mortgage Lifter is named for the heirloom grower who sold his tomatoes for a dollar (when a goddamn dollar was worth something) in order to pay off his mortgage. Though the Mortgage Lifter is sweet and juicy, the Green Zebra is tart and unique. I woke up when I found out that the Green Zebra was not a true Heirloom, but instead is mistakingly called one for its decorative characteristics. And the fact that it is bred from 4 heirloom varieties.

Turns out the Green Zebra was also originally cultivated by a man in Washington.

Or is that Worshington?

Heirloom tomato and marinated Buffalo Mozzarella salad
with Nicoise Olive sea salt
The Players:

2 Ibs assorted heirloom tomatoes
4 oz Buffalo mozzarella
4 oz olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 tsp chives
1 Tbl balsamic vinegar
1/2 sprig rosemary
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
10 large basil leaves
Nicoise Olive sea salt

The Recipe:

-First, cut the mozzarella in half and then cut up each half into 1/4' slices and set aside.
-Mix olive oil, pepper, and balsamic vinegar into a large mixing bowl.
-Slice the garlic clove paper thin and add to bowl.
-Pull the rosemary leaves of the stem and add to bowl, then mince the chives, and add to the bowl. Mix well.
-Place the mozzarella into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let marinate for 2 to 3 hours. -Wash the tomatoes and then slice them into slices bout 1/4' thick. Arrange them on a platter.
-Pull the mozzarella out of the marinade and arrange on the platter with the tomatoes.
-Using a spoon, drizzle the leftover marinade onto the cheese and tomatoes.
-Roughly chop the basil and sprinkle it over the tomatoes and cheese
- Garnish dish with Nicoise Olive salt.

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