NEW: Those beautiful-ugly Heirloom tomatoes and artichokes

August 10, 2012
by Pascale LeDraoulec

Rotating Vendors:
Flourish Baking Company
Honey Locust Farmhouse
Spice Revolution

Music – Fred Gillen, Jr.
Knife Sharpener is here this Saturday!

Have you ever seen anything so inherently ugly that tastes so delicious? The same goes for sea urchin, artichokes and kohlrabi. Sometimes you just have to look – far – beyond the physical appearance of certain foods to experience something truly sublime.

And so it goes with Heirloom tomatoes which are notoriously hideous: bulbous, cracked, misshapen and occasionally off-color. While they may not look as pretty as your standard supermarket tomato, their flavor is exceptional. Some of them are firm and sweet enough to bite into like an apple. They are a fruit, after all. All that is required is a smattering of salt. And because Heirlooms (Newgate Farms and Honey Locust Farmhouse) are tomato royalty, only the finest salt will do. Fortunately, Linzi Fastiggi from Spice Revolution will be at the market this week with her Fleur de Sel, the gourmet French sea salt she reserves for Heirlooms.

Madura Farms will have some small artichokes – though only a few. Steam them stem-end-up until tender – about 35- 45 minutes. Why not throw some lemon grass or ginger or garlic cloves, rosemary or thyme into the boiling water to give the globs an aromatic twist? You can also top trimmed baby artichokes with herbs, bread crumbs and olive oil. wrap them (generously) in foil paper and bake them for 35 – 60 minutes. Serve with a classic vinaigrette…or a tangy garlic aioli.  Whatever dressing you choose, the fun is in the un-dressing.

Hope to see you at the market in between rain drops and thunder claps. If the heirlooms can make it to the market…so can you!

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