If you haven’t heard already, we’re kind of into tomatoes around here. Ok, you caught us, we’re really really into tomatoes! And how could we not be? From vine-picked Pearly Pinks still warm from the day’s sun, to rich, lightly salted Cherokee Purples, we’ve been lucky to taste the freshest, most delicious tomatoes that Texas has to offer…and you can, too! With so many varieties available in this short-lived tomato season, it’s all about mixing it up and tasting the rainbow of flavors, colors, and textures that make up the world of Texas tomatoes. Here’s a quick guide to what you’ll see this season, along with favorite recipes from some of the Farmhouse staff to inspire you !
Pearly Pink (smaller size, perfectly round, blush-pink in color) – Sweet, luscious, tastes like summer
Sungold (smaller size, perfectly round, gold with occasional spots of green) – Warm, pops in your mouth, tastes like sunshine
Grape (smaller size, misshapen and oblong) – rich, acidic but sweet
Striped German (heirloom varietal, yellow with spots of red) – Sweet, juicy, low acidity
Valencia (heirloom varietal, bright yellow, med-large size) – low in acidity, less juicy, mild
Cherokee Purple (heirloom varietal, pink and green in color) – meaty, juicy, rich, sweet
Green (med-large size, apple-green in color) – tart, crunchy, usually battered and fried or pickled but surprisingly refreshing when eaten raw
Valley Girl Slicer (med- large size, red, round) – standard hamburger tomato, silky, slightly tart
San Marzano (medium size, light red in color, oblong shape) – higher acidity, firm texture, also referred to as paste tomatoes, these are traditionally best used in tomato sauce
Katie’s Pick: Striped German and Cherokee Purple
Watermelon & Tomato Salad
Rough chop watermelon, Cherokee Purple, and Striped German tomatoes. Slice or tear basil. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste. Want to mix it up? Adding avocado and feta cheese really takes it to the next level!
Jake’s Pick: Valley Girl and Cherokee Purple
Stuff Valley Girl or Cherokee Purple tomatoes with breakfast sausage and bushel veggie hash and serve with a runny egg for breakfast. ‘Cause everything’s better stuffed with meat and veggies right?
Casey’s Pick: San Marzanos
San Marzano Bruschetta
Mix chopped San Marzano tomatoes, diced garlic cloves, fresh torn basil, olive oil, and salt & pepper to taste. Let tomato mixture sit for an hour at room temperature in a covered bowl to soak up all of the flavors. Place ciabatta slices on sheet pan in oven to perfectly toast. Once toasted, take bread slices out of oven and top with tomato mixture. Buon Appetito!
Stephanie’s Pick: Small varieties like Pearly Pink and Sungold
No-Cook Tomato Sauce
This sauce works well with all kinds of smaller tomato varieties: Cherry, Grape, Pearly Pink, Sungolds, you name it. Each type of tomato contributes something different. Place chopped tomatoes garlic, basil, and olive oil into a large serving bowl and stir until coated. Cover the bowl and allow to marinate for about four hours at room temperature. Add salt and pepper to taste. The tomatoes will release their juices and flavors will meld. If you can’t wait the full four hours, it’s still tasty right out of the mixing bowl! Serve over warm pasta or bread, with more fresh basil and Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Brian’s Pick: Grape Tomatoes
Fire-Roasted Tomato Salsa
This simple salsa highlights the tang of fresh grape tomatoes and the earthy spice of dried chiles. The salsa should be a deep burgundy after blending: Roast grape tomatoes over a flame or in a skillet until charred. Toast dried chiles de arbol in a dry skillet until aromatic and slightly blistered. Mix chiles and tomatoes in a blender or food processor until desired consistency is reached. Add salt to taste. Olive oil can be added to incorporate an additional savory element, if desired.
Melody’s Pick: Sungold Tomatos