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Food

Heirloom Tomatoes: Two Easy Recipes

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This is the time of year when those oddly colored and awkwardly shaped tomatoes begin to appear in stacks and piles in the produce section or at your favorite farmer's market. We'll admit to once upon a time being a little afraid of their boldly streaked and dappled skins in shades of reds, greens, and yellows, but once we started incorporating them into late summer dishes there was no turning back. The flavors are as varied as the shadings might indicate, and add extra pizzaz to tomato-based dishes, or are a treat just on their own. Recently we've done a couple of things with them that we'd like to pass on; one is a simple Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Salad, and the other is an Heirloom Tomato and Onion Tart.

Photo of Heirloom Tomatoes by Genevieve_Southern via Flickr

Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

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An assortment of heirloom tomatoes, sliced
Fresh bocconcini (bite-size) mozzarella, sliced (1 slice per each tomato slice)
Fresh basil
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Alternate slices of tomato and mozzarella on a platter.

Drizzle lightly with Olive Oil.

Slice basil into ribbons by rolling a stack of trimmed leaves into a cigar-like roll then cutting in narrow horizontal slices. Top tomatoes and cheese with basil and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve family style as a side dish or appetizer; adjust ingredient ratio to suit your serving needs.

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Heirloom Tomato and Onion Tart

2 White Onions, thinly sliced
2 lbs (approx 4 large) Heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced in half circles
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup sliced black olives
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 pre-made pie crust

Cook onions in oil on medium heat in a heavy skillet with a lid until softened, about 15-20 minutes. Remove lid and continue to cook until onions are golden and all liquid has evaporated. Removed skillet from heat and allow onions to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line a 9" pie or tart pan with a pie crust (make sure refridgerated dough has come to room temp before unrolling) and fold edges inward, pressing down, so as not to create a rim. Fill crust with onions. Top onions with shredded gruyere and spread evenly. Arrange tomato slices in overlapping circles, then sprinkle sliced olives on top. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bake on center rack of oven for 50-60 minutes, or until crust is golden-brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 8-10.

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Heirloom Tomato and Onion Tart photo by author.