I used to hate tomatoes.
I don’t know what it was specifically that fueled my aversion, but unless they were blended together in pizza sauce or in my can of Spaghettios or Beefaroni, I wanted nothing to do with them.
Fortunately, over the years as I’ve opened myself up to foods and giving them a second chance rather than immediately writing them off, I’ve found that I really like tomatoes.
Especially heirloom tomatoes.
If you want to learn all about heirloom tomatoes, check out this link by a guy who has an entire website devoted to tomatoes!
I also pulled this little bit of info off of Hometown Harvest’s website. I’ve met the owners, Tony and Abby, and respect and admire their approach to food and the fresh, local products they source to their customers, which is why Bill and I switched from a different produce delivery company to Hometown Harvest.
An heirloom tomato is an open-pollinated tomato whose seed grows “true to type”—meaning, if you plant Cherokee Purple seed, you’re going to get Cherokee Purple plants. From generation to generation, that seed will stay true. Some heirloom tomatoes have, in fact, stayed within one family and so are heirlooms in the truest sense of the word. Other heirloom tomatoes circulate widely.
Heirloom tomatoes also tend to have a thinner skin and are more prone to bruising and puncturing, so it’s important to handle them carefully. Their flavor is second to none, and they come in lots of different colors, so they spruce up the plate!
I made this recipe using heirloom tomatoes for the first time last summer and LOVED it.
If you like to “go downy ocean, hun,” you should plan to stop by Easton’s farmer’s market on your way to or from the beach.
We’ll be making this dish tomorrow night for Meatless Monday. Give it a whirl if you’re looking for something new to try. Enjoy! 🙂
Heirloom Tomatoes & Chickpea Summer Salad
- 2 large heirloom tomatoes, sliced into 1/2 inch discs (or whatever thickness you like!)
- 1-2 handfuls of fresh greens or lettuce of your choice
- 5.5-6 cups cooked (~ 3 15-ounce cans) garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed (We like Eden brand!)
- 5 ounce baby spinach
- 1.5 cups cilantro, large stems removed (or parsley if you don’t like cilantro or want a milder taste)
- 3/4 cup red onion, chopped finely
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon 100% pure maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt + ground pepper
Arrange the tomato slices on top of the greens and then follow this link to the full recipe for the medley and dressing from one of my favorite vegan bloggers over at oh she glows (she makes veggies taste fantastic!).