1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
S. D. Fischer
- Published on Amazon.com
This book provides a great introduction to heirloom tomatoes including both growing and eating them. There are beautiful photos throughout the book, and most, but not all, of the recipes feature a photo of the finished dish.
The recipes also include wine pairing suggestions (of a type of wine, such as Chardonnay, not a specific brand of wine and/or vintage) which I thought was a wonderful addition.
The first chapter is an Introduction which includes the growing popularity of heirloom tomatoes, a description of the Heirloom Tomato Festival at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center, and an overview of 20 varieties of heirloom tomatoes which includes physical characteristic, flavor and a photo.
The next chapter is on Tomatoes + Wine. It describes the characteristics of Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Zinfandel as well as the specific heirloom tomatoes for which they each pair best. The author provides a helpful tip: "Simply match the color of the wines to the color of the tomatoes." and goes on to explain that lighter color tomatoes have less acid and more sugar. "White wines match the flavors of light-colored tomatoes, with lower acid balance, while red, pink, and black tomatoes have deeper flavors with more acid to balance their sugars, resulting in richer, bolder tastes."
The third chapter, Cooking with Heirloom Tomatoes, describes how to choose and store tomatoes, tools of the trade, basic techniques (stemming and coring, peeling, slicing, and seeding), basic tomato recipes (Tomato Concasse, Tomato Coulis, Tomato Water, Roasted Tomato Puree, Oven-Dried Tomatoes) and how to freeze your tomato harvest.
The next chapter, Salsas + Bruschettas, includes recipes for:
-Heirloom Tomato Bloody Mary Shrimp Salsa
-Black Brandywine Tomato Jam and Blue Cheese Bruschetta
-Aunt Ruby's Green German Tomato Relish and Goat Cheese Bruschetta
-Eva's Purple Ball Tomato and Watermelon Bruschetta
-Hawaiian Pineapple Tomato Bruschetta
-Indian-Spiced Orange Tomato, Chili, and Coconut Bruschetta
-Roasted Pepper, Mushroom, and Sun-Dried Tomato Compote
-Five-Minute Brandywine Tomato Sauce
The fifth chapter, Soups + Beverages, includes recipes for:
-Hoosier Tomato Juice
-Roasted Heirloom Tomato Bloody Mary
-Roasted Tomato Bloody Mary Mix
-Tomato-Watermelon Agua Fresca
-Cold Golden Tomato Soup with Sharlyn Melon and Basil Essence
-Chilled Creole Tomato Soup with Tapenade
-Spicy Heirloom Tomato Soup
-Country Tomato Soup with Parmesan-Caper Crostini
The sixth chapter, Salads + Side Dishes, includes recipes for:
-Heirloom Tomato and Melon Salad
-Fried Green Tomato Caprese Salad with Marjoram Vinaigrette
-Southwestern Heirloom Tomato Salad
-BLT Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
-Grilled Heirloom Tomato Salad with Roasted Garlic Puree
-Tomato-Avocado Salad with Garlic Toasts and Chevre Cream
-Fried Green Tomatoes with Arugula Pesto and Cherry Tomato Relish
-Sweet and Sour Green Tomato Tatin with Goat Cheese Fondant
-Heirloom Tomatoes Stuffed with Spinach, Artichokes, and Cheese
-Sliced Heirloom Tomatoes with White Beans and Fried Okra
-Savory Heirloom Tomato Bread Pudding
The seventh chapter, Main Courses, includes recipes for:
-Baked Stuffed Heirloom Tomatoes with Lobster Sauce
-Ricotta Gnocchi with Heirloom Tomatoes and Basil
-Pacific Bay Shrimp and Heirloom Tomato Tartine with Saffron Aioli
-Seafood Pasta with Heirloom Tomato Fra Diavolo Sauce
-Heirloom Tomato Lasagna with Herbed Ricotta, Basil Pesto, and Walnut-Ricotta Sauce
-Soft Polenta with Mushrooms, Oven-Roasted Heirloom Tomatoes, Chard, and Sausage
-Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Cheesecake
-Cherokee Purple Tomato BLT with Apple Wood-Smoked Bacon
-Crab Cakes with Tomato-Corn Relish and Citrus Aioli
The eighth chapter, Preserves + Sweets, includes recipes for:
-Black Plum Tomato Marmalade
-Smoked Heirloom Tomato Ketchup
-Heirloom Tomato Sorbet
-Roasted Cherry Tomato and Cinnamon-Basil Ice Cream
-Tomato, Goat Cheese, and Lemon-Basil Custard with a Black Pepper Crust
-Tomato Shortcakes with Star Anise Syrup and Creme Fraiche
The final chapter is on Growing + Cultivating and covers soil, fertilizers, growing season, seed starting, mulch, diseases, pests and other tomato growing topics. The resources page provides the names, addresses, phone numbers and websites of 13 vendors who sell heirloom tomato seeds.
As a vegetarian, I was very pleased to see so many recipes that are vegetarian. And while I look forward to trying some of the heirloom varieties discussed in this book, I'll probably have to occasionally use regular garden tomatoes in a pinch for some of the recipes.
At the current Bargain Book price of under $7, The Heirloom Tomato Cookbook is a real bargain! I am really pleased with it.