Tomaaaayto, Tomaaahto

*Please note this recipe was written prior my gluten sensitivity discovery. The recipes below include gluten.

With the recent chill in the air it may seem unlikely that tomatoes are in season.  Well, let me tell ya the BEST tomatoes are in season right now!  And they are….drumroll….heirloom tomatoes.  By far the most fun and tasty of tomatoes.  “Why” you may be asking yourself at the moment.  You see, the word heirloom is an umbrella term and refers to many varieties of tomatoes that are all flavorful in their own unique way.  My favorites are the green zebra and any variety of purple.  Any color lends such a unique fresh color to your dish. As far as flavor, each variety is different and most have much less acidity than a standard tomato.  Here are 2 ways to use these lovelies before their season ends (super soon!).

Caprese Stack
  • 3 heirloom tomatoes, variety of colors, sliced into 1” rounds
  • 1 ball fresh water packed mozzarella, sliced into 1” rounds
  • a few leaves of fresh torn basil
  • crème di balsamic (you can purchase a squeeze bottle of grape must at specialty stores like Williams-Sonoma, Sur le Table and Whole Foods)
  • few pinches sea salt and coarse ground pepper
Start your stack with a tomato and add a slice of mozzarella, places the slices a bit askew. Top with a piece of basil and continue the stack 2-3 more times. Make sure the top layer is a tomato.  Drizzle with the crème di balsamic and sprinkle with the sea salt and pepper. Mangia!

Panzanella Salad
  • 3 cups torn day old –good quality- bread (1” chunks)
  • ½ cup shredded basil (you can tear with your hands)
  • ½ red onion, sliced very thin
  • 2 cups chunked heirloom tomatoes, a few varieties
  • 2 balls fresh water packed mozzarella, cut into 1” chunks
  • ¼ c.-½ c. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-4 T. white wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
  • 2-3 pinches good sea salt
  • lots of fresh ground pepper
Have all ingredients ready and prepared in separate containers.  Just before serving combine everything into one bowl and give it a good toss. Taste for seasoning and enjoy!