Produce Pick of the Week: Handsome Heirloom Tomatoes

28 Dec Produce Pick of the Week: Handsome Heirloom Tomatoes

Classic Margherita Pizza

 

Sometimes, when you least expect it, something catches your eye,  something fresh and fabulous like the trio of handsome heirloom tomatoes calling out to me from their resting place in the rectangular wicker basket in the produce department at Albertson’s last week.

I can’t say exactly why, but after a week filled with Tom and Jerry’s, rum cake and a dab of this and a bite of that, nothing could have looked more enticing.

Heirloom tomatoes in December seemed like a rare unseasonal find, but the plump ripe beauties were irresistible and found their way right into my shopping cart. The juicy gems bursting with flavor were the inspiration for Classic Margherita Pizza and Composed Caprese Salad Stack, two simple and straightforward presentations put together in no time.

Thinly sliced, arranged on a salad plate, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with salt and freshly ground pepper or whirred up in the blender into a fast and fabulous soup with basil and a splash of cream for cream of tomato soup seasoned to your liking and heated on the stove, tomatoes can be transformed into sumptuous salads and soups almost instantly.

Nutritionally, tomatoes are a healthy antioxidant and good source of lycopene as well as vitamin C, vitaminA, vitamin K, potassium and manganese.  Incorporating tomatoes into a healthy diet can reduce your risk of heart disease heart, lower bad cholesterol and contribute to cancer-prevention in your body.

Take ‘er easy this week after the hustle and bustle of the holidays and whip up something simple with some handsome heirloom tomatoes.  This week’s Special of the day-Produce Pick of the Week: Handsome Heirloom Tomatoes with recipes for Classic Margherita Pizza and Composed Caprese Salad Stacks.

Recipe and food photography by Sydne George.

Classic Margherita Pizza

Classic Margherita Pizza
(makes one large 15-inch pizza)
Make the pizza dough:
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups flour
1 teaspoons salt
Olive oil
In a small bowl, stir the sugar into the warm water to dissolve.
Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and stir.
Let sit until foamy.
Dump yeast mixture into large mixing bowl and add flour and salt, stirring to combine.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead until soft and no longer sticky.
Brush large mixing bowl with olive oil and place dough in oiled bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 3 days).
When ready to assemble pizza:
Punch down dough, remove from bowl and set in a sunny window. Allow dough to come to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
Roll dough out on lightly floured surface to 15 inch circle.
Brush large pizza pan with olive oil.
Transfer dough to large pizza pan.
Make the sauce:
2 heirloom tomatoes, stems removed
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella, sliced into thin slices
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
Place tomatoes in blender and blend on low until pureed.
Add oregano, salt and olive oil and mix until blended.
Spread ½ cup sauce over prepared crust to cover.
Top with mozzarella slices and parmesan cheese.
Bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is nicely browned.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh basil leaves.
Let sit for about 3 minutes.
Slice and serve hot.
Enjoy!

Composed Caprese Salad Stacks

Composed Caprese Salad Stacks
(makes 4-6 salad stacks)
Ingredients:
4 heirloom tomatoes, sliced in ¼ inch slices
1 8-ounce mozzarella ball, sliced in ¼ inch slices
1 cup fresh basil leaves, divided
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
Directions:
Make the basil oil:
In a blender, whisk together olive oil, ½ cup basil leaves, and ¼ teaspoon salt until pureed.
Garnish serving plates with basil oil.
Assemble the stacks:
  1. Place one tomato slice on each serving plate.
  2. Top with cheese slice on each plate.
  3. Top with a drizzle of basil oil and fresh a fresh basil leaf.
  4. Continue layering tomato, cheese, basil oil and basil to make attractive caprese salad stacks.
  5. Sprinkle freshly ground pepper over the top of each stack and garnish with basil leaves.

Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at sydnegeorge@hotmail.com . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at http://sydnegeorge.com/blog/.

3 Comments
  • CLICK HERE
    Posted at 12:11h, 20 January Reply

    important info 😉

    • skgadmin
      Posted at 20:20h, 20 January Reply

      Thanks!

    • skgadmin
      Posted at 20:29h, 20 January Reply

      Thanks for saying so.

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