There is a tiny stand at the VFW in Forest Lake, MN. The ladies at the stand are absolutely hilarious. I mainly go there for the incredible heirloom tomatoes, but they also have corn, cucumber, jalapeno, onion, garlic and lots of other garden fresh goodness. Oh, and they have jokes. The ladies who run the stand have their own farm and are so passionate about their food, specifically the tomatoes. Before I went there for the first time last year, I thought heirloom tomatoes looked nasty. I mean come on, they are black, orange, green and every color in between. It looked more like you should use them for a tomato fight. We were enlightened by these women who let us taste the tomatoes and turned sceptics into fans. They are super meaty (aka minimal seeds), very flavorful and come with stories. Yes, stories. They all have history behind how they came to be (seeds from other farmers which are crossed with their tomato seeds, etc.). Some of them have been around for decades! I had no idea.
My favorite way to eat them is in a simple caprese salad. Some of the heirlooms have such unique color which gives this classic salad a little twist. And since they are so delicious, I like to present them in a much fancier way, sliced and layers with fresh mozzarella cheese.
If you have the chance to pick some of these up, please do so. You won’t regret it.
What is an heirloom tomatoes? Learn more here on the ever so reliable Wikipedia.
What you need:
- 2 large heirloom tomatoes – thick slices
- Large ball fresh mozzarella cheese – thick slices
- Fresh basil – Julienne
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
What you do:
- Simply layer tomato and mozzarella alternating until gone
- Sprinkle basil over everything
- Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette and a little EVOO
- Season with salt and pepper to taste