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.
I thought I’d pull a little bit of info off Hometown Harvest’s website to share what makes these tomatoes different from the regular old red ones we are most familiar with:
The term “heirloom” was applied to tomatoes to distinguish traditional varieties (and techniques) from the hybrids of modern seed industry. The distinction between “hybrid” and “heirloom” is more about age (old vs. new) and hybridizing technique (classically bred vs. GMO).
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.
Oh my goodness it was so tasty, and it was the perfect way to use the heirloom tomatoes we got in our bag this week.
We’ll be making it this week, and it’s a great option for a Meatless Monday meal, if you’re looking for something new to try.
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
- 2 cups dried/uncooked chickpeas (makes 5.5-6 cups cooked)
- 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 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!).