Monday, August 04, 2008
Tomato Fest with a Recipe for Great Panzanella
Under the heading of "more ways to torture your family on a weekend," add a trip to Tomato Fest. Brutal heat advisory, but at least the event did not start until evening, and there was a breeze. It's full-on tomato season here, sorry Rachel!
The event featured an heirloom tomato tasting, some local chefs preparing tomato dishes including the best bloody mary (FRESH tomato juice) I have ever had, tomato soup with bruschetta and goat cheese, and this incredible Panzanella salad that I duplicated the next day at home. Recipe is at the bottom of this post.
I finished the weekend with my own Tomato Fest with 15 lbs. of heirlooms on hand, making the salad, a batch of Ratatouille, and fresh spaghetti sauce, and homemade salsa all on Sunday. I still have 2 lbs. of cherry tomatoes to prepare somehow.
These are hoop houses. Using these tents allow the farmers to extend the growing season here. For us, it means tomatoes in June through November, instead of just July-September.
The houses contain also peppers, raspberries, squash and other crops.
Looking for this recipe? It will be part of an upcoming book with Ali at Cleaner Plate Club.
Yes, these are vineyards ... Nice view for the Midwest.